Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of becoming a nurse. After graduating high school, I happily enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program at the College of Mt. St. Vincent in New York, but a family situation interrupted my plans. I moved home, enrolled in Katharine Gibbs Business School and for the next 20 years, worked as a legal secretary and legal assistant.Flash forward 21 years. One sunny, summer afternoon in 1998, my neighbor and friend, Jeannie, and I were sitting in my yard watching our six children play in a small pool. Jeannie was a nurse with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) here in Monmouth County. I disclosed my nursing dream to her, and with her encouragement, and the enormous support of my husband, John, I enrolled in the LPN program at Monmouth County Vocational School District that September. It was a two-year evening program; I continued to work part-time mornings at the law firm while my children were in school and attended classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In 2000, I passed my LPN Boards and finally began my nursing career. In 2006, I graduated from Brookdale Community College with my AAS (with a 4.0 average) and passed the RN boards immediately after.
I have had a varied nursing career over the past 19 years and loved every minute of it. I can honestly say that working in the community is by far the most rewarding, challenging and fun job I have ever had. I absolutely love helping people stay well in their homes, and supervising and acting as a resource for our compassionate and knowledgeable aides is both an honor and a privilege.
In my current role as RN Field Supervisor with FCS Home Care Services, I am able to create a personalized plan of care for a client, directing appropriate care to be provided by our certified home health aide (CHHA). The plan of care is dynamic, updated regularly, and subject to change as a client’s needs change, giving new meaning to the phrase “aging in place.” Additionally, as part of a larger agency, I and the other nurses on the Home Care team have access to a wide array of programs and resources such as the Community Support Services, Adult Protective Services and Representative Payee. This enables us to link our clients with appropriate services in the community and manage their cases better by securing much-needed durable medical equipment, making appointments, and locating discounted prescription medication.
Our Home Care nurses work collaboratively with each other and the social workers at FCS to meet the needs of our clients. The work is demanding, challenging and extremely rewarding. I’m proud to be part of the FCS family and contribute to the wonderful work we do in our community.
So Happy Nurses Day! And for all those thinking about the nursing field, my advice to you is: go for it! It’s never too late to follow your dream.
Joanne Quinn, R.N.
FCS Home Care Services