Career Awareness

Real Life Clinical Nurse Specialist 

AMY--It is interesting to me that when I visit an out-of-state family, everyone knows Mayo Clinic. They are impressed that I work at Mayo because they recognize the high standards and quality ... it is a good feeling to talk to them about my work.

On any given day, I meet one-on-one with patients, families and nurses. A typical day is a mix of teaching a nursing class, working with an individual nurse or group of health care team members on a patient care issue and talking on the phone to patients and physicians. I deal with daily patient care issues as they arise. It's exciting because you are not always sure what is next. I might work with 20 nurses in one day. A nurse may page me with a question and I usually have to prioritize what needs to be done first. I like that I am not only working with nurses, but also with physicians, pharmacists, patients and families.

After high school, I attended college for four years to receive my bachelor's degree in nursing. I worked for eight years as a staff nurse. Then, I went back to school for my master's degree at Winona State University - Rochester Campus. It took three years while I worked and went to school part time. I now have my master's degree in nursing, which is required for my position. My supervisor was supportive of my work schedule and many of my classes were at night. Winona State has an agreement with Mayo so I was able to complete my clinicals at Mayo. I was also able to maintain my work hours for the most part and complete my education.

Whatever you do to further your education and your experiences will open the door to many nursing career opportunities -- take advantage of that.

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