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Nursing leader began career as front desk receptionist

March 06, 2020

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Nursing leader began career as front desk receptionist

Jenn Strayer, RN, BSN, has climbed the clinical ladder at WellSpan Health.

While working part-time at the front desk at WellSpan Family Medicine – Dallastown, Jenn Strayer was going to school to be a medical assistant. After obtaining that certification, she was able to work in both the family medicine and orthopedics fields.

But after some time, Jenn decided to further her career in healthcare. She was interested in getting more involved in direct patient care. WellSpan paid for her to go back to school to get her nursing degree, and later paid for her to get her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“WellSpan paying for my degree was the only opportunity to get my degree at that time,” Jenn explained. “It was like my Willy Wonka golden ticket!”

Without the financial support, Jenn would not be in the role that she is today. In the midst of going to nursing school, raising a family, and working full-time, her husband was laid off from his job and she had to support her family.

“I was trying to maintain a level of professionalism at work, get good grades, and still be ‘mom’ and ‘wife’,” said Jenn. “I knew I just had to get to the finish line, and looking back it is one of the things I am most proud of.”

Jenn was able to complete both of her degrees, and she is now in her current role as clinical operations coordinator for the WellSpan Medical Group. She is actively involved in leadership training and skill development for other nurses, in addition to her primary role of working to identify improvement opportunities for clinical operations and supporting the WellSpan Medical Group clinical staff.

“Getting my RN degree prepared me to be a good nurse, and getting my BSN provided me more of what I needed to be a leader,” Jenn said. “I was able to look at things from all angles and see things differently, instead of just patient care.”

And she’s not done yet. Jenn is currently on track to be certified this year for ambulatory nursing.

“Healthcare in general is constantly evolving and changing,” she explained. “While we might know how to give good care, we can always do more. Nurses should always be lifetime learners, and we shouldn’t get comfortable where we are.”

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