Beginning as an intern for Rosecrance 11 years ago, Amy has since transitioned through several positions from Floor Nurse to Nurse Manager and then Healthcare Provider. Amy now serves as the Director of Nursing at Rosecrance where she splits her time between providing healthcare directly to clients and overseeing nurses at all Rosecrance Inc. locations. Amy explains that as Director of Nursing she tries her best to empower other nurses, help them achieve their own goals and provide education on the magnitude of behavioral health nursing.
“Behavioral health clients are simply everywhere,” she says. “It’s such an important concept throughout the whole spectrum of nursing and I want to encourage new nurses to consider behavioral health nursing as an option. I want them to realize the skills we use are so varied, so very important and understand it really is a very rewarding profession.”
However, even though Amy’s lead responsibility is supervising the team of nurses and ensuring they have the knowledge and information they need to provide the best possible care to Rosecrance clients, her primary passion is still direct client care.
“The most rewarding part of my job is in those moments where a client can truly smile at me,” she explains. “There was a woman who I worked with for 2 years in outpatient services. She would come to my office and just curl in on herself. It was clear she wanted to make herself small and invisible. She didn’t have good self-confidence at time and was feeling very depressed. I recently got to transition her out of my care and on her last visit I saw a very confident young woman sitting in my office with her head high, chin up, smiling. It was a really a great moment. To me success in what I do looks like clients achieving their goals.”
She adds “The most challenging part is knowing that there are limits to what we do. We can only go so far and the rest of it is up to client. Of course our natural instinct is to help as much as we can, more so and more so every time, so knowing that limit is difficult.”
Amy received her Associate’s degree from Rock Valley College in 2009, her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 2011, her Master’s degree in Family Nurse Practice in 2015, and her Post-Master’s degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practice in 2017.
When asked what it’s like to witness the transformation in clients she cares for, she explains: “There’s nothing I can describe it with. I birthed a child and to me watching the clients grow is almost as rewarding. Being able to see them reach their goals and witness the hard work they put into their recovery is incredible.”
“Recovery is hard work,” she adds. “It takes dedication every single day whether it is recovering from mental health concerns or substance use concerns and it is truly life-changing. The courage and bravery it takes cannot be understated. For me, witnessing recovery is one of the miracles of life.”