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Shelly A.
Shelly switched careers from high school math teacher to a nurse.  She began her nursing career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Nurse Residency Program and is now the Manager of Patient Care Services at  Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute (VHVI).

What has been your career path?  Where are you now on your path?
My first college degree was a BS in math education.  I taught high school math for about 5 years, before my father asked me to help him run his restaurant businesses.  After he passed away and the businesses were sold, I came to Nashville to immerse myself in music. To me, Nashville seems to be as much a medicine town as a music city, and it wasn't long before I decided I wanted to be a nurse.  I felt that nursing might be the perfect outlet for my teaching passion, my creativity and compassion, and my service orientation.  

After graduating from Aquinas college in 2008, I joined Vanderbilt as a new nurse graduate through the Nurse Residency Program. I worked with an exceptional team on Adult Inpatient Medicine on 8 South and then 8 North, where I moved from New Grad, to charge nurse, to RN4, and eventually to Asst Manager and CSL. I now am the manager of the outpatient cardiology clinic for Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute (VHVI).  As it turns out, I was right about nursing being the vocation that could nurture all of my interests, and I have been blessed to find that Vanderbilt, in particular, has supported me in utilizing all of my experiences and education to build a career that fits me. 

Shelly AHow did Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Nurse Residency Program support your transition to practice? What has the experience meant to you?
One of the greatest benefits for the nurse residency program is the way it builds confidence. As a new nurse, I had exceptional preceptors on the unit. However, having that added network of help-mates in the program, including gracious leaders and new nurse colleagues, I was able to acclimate to the large enterprise. I felt like I was growing my skills daily, while also becoming part of the full Vanderbilt team. Through the residency, I was able to meet many of the leaders who recognized some of my skills and experience, and later reached out to me to give me opportunities that would help me utilize and grow that skill set. The residency program helps turn a very large organization into one that is friendly and supportive. 

Did you consider other residency programs?  Why did you choose Vanderbilt?
I never considered any other program.  Had I not been accepted into the residency, I would have applied elsewhere, but I knew that I was the type of person who needed the educational focus, structure, strong nursing focus, and vast opportunities Vanderbilt offers. I was thrilled when Vanderbilt offered me the opportunity I felt was exactly right for me.

What is it about being a Vanderbilt nurse that makes you proud?
I am extremely proud of the leadership we have at Vanderbilt.  During every part of my journey, from novice nurse to nurse manager, I have had encouragement, coaching, and opportunities to be exactly where I want to be in my profession.  Vanderbilt has an amazing ability to provide cutting edge patient care, support and encouragement to nurses, and expanded care opportunities in outlying locations.

Shelly A