Insight from a geriatric nurse
In honor of National Nurses Week, we’re following up with some South College graduates to learn about their nursing specialties.
Jenna Royston is Director of Nursing at Hancock Manor Nursing Home in Sneedville, Tennessee.
She graduated from South College in September 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and currently is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care through South College’s online platform.
Her concentration is directly impacted by her current job because, as she says: “My heart is with the geriatric patients. I didn’t know how much I would love geriatrics, but in my rural area with limited job opportunities, I took a job at a nursing home and immediately loved it.”
About 80 percent of Jenna’s day as director is devoted to management, noting “We have a daily clinical meeting when all department heads discuss residents and their needs and determine a course of action. I also work with scheduling to make sure the floor is covered with CNAs and nurses and create a lot of care plans.”
Although management takes up most of her time, she loves treating patients most and says, “When I get to work the floor as a nurse, I love being with and interacting with residents and patients. They have a lot of wisdom to share. Even on my worst day, they lift me up – they’re the best.”
Her work on the floor includes general medical care, feeding assistance, and treatments such as wound care. The COVID-19 pandemic has added additional virus testing as well. Short-term residents mostly are recovering from joint replacements and surgeries, but in some cases come for a short rehabilitation stay and decide to remain as residents to get an increased level of care and security that comes from 24-hour care.
National Nurses Week
Her team will celebrate National Nurses Week with special events each day and prize drawings for the nursing staff. A big party will honor the nursing staff at the end of the week.
Advice for prospective nurses
“Some days are better than others, but in geriatric care, the patients get you through,” Jenna shares. “Nursing is compassion. It takes a lot and can be hard, but it’s well worth the reward.”
“South College definitely prepared me for a career in nursing and nursing management. The faculty made me think outside the box and were also sensitive to the fact that I lived two hours away and had a small child. The small class size meant that I received a lot of one-on-one instruction and encouragement. It was like family.”
In addition to school and work, Jenna is also mom to a 5-year-old daughter and loves spending time with her family and traveling.