Cherria Scott, nurse supervisor at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Ocala, Florida, remembers the first time she was approached about advancing her career using Company resources. Scott, then a floor nurse, was encouraged to transition to the charge nurse role, assuming some managerial responsibilities for nurses and support staff on particular shifts.
“My CNO at the time saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. She told me to go for it,” Scott said.
The charge nurse position became permanent, and she knew that higher education would expand her skillset and open doors for further advancement. Scott had what she described as her “ah ha” moment, which prompted her to complete Encompass Health’s CRRN prep course and obtain the certification. She is currently enrolled in school and plans to utilize a loan repayment program available to Encompass Health employees after graduation.
“I realized that I get to help change lives here, plus I can move up in the Company, my supervisors want me to grow and they’re willing to help me do it. What’s stopping me? The incentives worked in my favor.”
A shift in the right direction
Millie Rodriguez, nurse manager at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Altamonte Springs, had her own “ah ha” moment when relocating to Florida in 2010 after working as an ER nurse in Puerto Rico for a decade. She took a position in a skilled nursing facility but soon realized she was looking for a different type of caregiving.
She found Encompass Health in 2015, a move to the rehabilitation field that paid off. Not long after accepting a floor nurse position, she started taking advantage of programs that allowed her to obtain CRRN and wound care certifications.
“Because I crossed-trained in wound care, I was able to fill in for the wound care coordinator when necessary. That exposed me to other roles in the hospital,” Rodriguez said. “Before long, I held the role of hospital educator and employee health coordinator. I got a glimpse into management. It was eye-opening.”
Continuing to grow in her role, she was assigned to visit Puerto Rico in 2018 to help implement a records management system in an Encompass Health hospital and has become her hospital’s STOP champion, helping other team members learn important safety protocols. In April 2019, she was promoted to nurse manager, a role that feels like the perfect fit.
“Encompass Health is home now. They invest in me; they want me to continue learning and to be able to train others. I took the initiative to grow in my career, but the management team made sure I had the resources to do it.”
Education keeps therapists at the top of their game
Lauren Whilden works alongside Rodriguez as a physical therapy assistant at Encompass Health Altamonte Springs. She too realized how accessible training opportunities are to those who seek them.
Whilden obtained a motor-learning certification through MedBridge, a Company-sponsored online resource center where therapy team members can complete certification prep programs, access training materials and attend educational webinars. She also completed Encompass Health’s HEMIMOVE1 training and will complete a nuerovision course this fall. In her view, prospective educational opportunities are an exciting part of the job.
“As a PTA, I need 24 hours of continuing education every two years in order to renew my physical therapy license,” Whilden said. “They make it easy to do. I look forward to continuing my education and growing with this team.”
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