A Nursing Professional Development Specialist in the Department of Perioperative Services at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Courtney Speziale, MSN, RN, share her path to becoming a nurse as well as her goals for the future.
After I was in a terrible car accident eight years ago, I decided to become a nurse. The nurses during my hospitalization were so kind and caring; I realized that I wanted to care for others in the same way they cared for me.
I enrolled in Kent State’s Accelerated Nursing Program. After graduating in May 2015, I took a position on a medical/surgical unit. An opportunity to transfer to the Operating Room (OR) presented after working med-surg for over a year. Once in the Operating Room, I knew I had found my home. Working in the OR was fast paced and challenging allowing me to assess and provide special care for people. I love the opportunity to talk to patients and families before surgery. In doing so, I provide them with information to help reduce their pre-operative anxiety, as I have been in their position and understand the fear of the unknown.
After two years, I returned to school to earn my Masters of Nursing in Education. Shortly thereafter, an opportunity to join the Perioperative Clinical Educator team presented itself and I gladly accepted. This position allowed me to teach new perioperative team members and also continue my duties to staff in surgical cases. I realized how much I loved the education aspect and teaching our new cohorts, which led me to transition to a Nursing Professional Development Specialist role for perioperative services. Currently, I oversee education for six system entities as well as serving the Cleveland Medical Center.
My next professional goal is to become a system leader. I am enrolled in the DNP for Health Systems Leadership program at Cleveland State University with graduation slated for 2023. It amazes me what this career has brought me in just five years of being a nurse. Becoming a nurse and choosing perioperative services was the best decision I have made in my life and I am grateful for this path.