Feeling fortunate to have found her passion, Summa Health System Clinical Nurse Specialist Amy E. Johnson, MSN, APRN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, shares her career path and advice for others interested in her role.
I have been a nurse for fourteen years. For the first eight years I worked as an ICU nurse. After returning to school and earning my Master’s degree, I began practicing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). Currently I am working on the Akron campus of Summa Health as a CNS focused on the med/surg and telemetry patient populations. I chose to be a CNS because I wanted to work in a position that would give me opportunities to improve nursing care. I believe passionately that when nurses are given education, proper training, mentoring, and strong support they are empowered to become the best nurses they can be. I also believe that strong, competent nurses lead to better patient care and outcomes. The CNS role fits perfectly into my desire to improve nurses and nursing care.
When nurses and nursing students ask me what I did to get to my current role, my best advice to them is to never stop learning. Take any opportunities available to learn about your organization and nursing practice. Seek out ways to get involved in nursing shared governance, volunteer opportunities and anything that can help you network with people in your organization. Getting involved can help in a variety of ways such as getting to know individuals in nursing leadership. This in turn can help you find a mentor and develop professional relationships with people that can help to guide your career. Being involved also helps to broaden your way of thinking about the healthcare system as a whole and gives a better perspective of the nursing role within that system.
Being a nurse has always been one of my greatest and proudest achievements. I feel very fortunate to have found a career path about which I feel passionate and that I continue to enjoy after several years. I’ve enjoyed reading and watching stories of nursing from all across our region over the past few months and I thank you for the opportunity to share mine!