Active surgical ICU nurse also practices law
Teaching and nursing were always Jodi Doney’s top career choices.
Eventually, the 2019 Clinical Excellence Award winner found herself in the perfect mix of both.
After years in nursing, Doney stepped into her role as a nurse educator with no prior experience in that role, said Karen Prenger, a clinical nursing specialist at the Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, “but her style and approach were so inviting to all from the beginning.”
“Jodi is easy to work with and does a great job of uniting all the team members and directing them to accomplish whatever task is necessary. She and the team put together one of the best mandatory education sessions to date with everyone contributing their part. Her leadership is appreciated and style welcomed by all.
“We are very lucky to have Jodi as our educator ensuring our staff is learning everything they can to provide high-quality/safe patient care.”
Tell us a little about yourself.
I obtained my bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Akron and my master’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University. I’m a registered nurse and I’ve worked in the hospital setting for a total of 23 years, with 11 of those years here at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Where are you from originally and what led you to Ohio State?
I’m from Akron and all of my extended family is still there. My husband has a pretty unique job (he’s the news director of a local radio station), which is what brought our family to central Ohio. I’ve always loved the Buckeyes, and the fact that Ohio State was a Magnet®-designated hospital drew me here. For those who don’t know what that is, it is a distinction giving to a very small number of organizations that provide excellent nursing care.
Where do you work and what is your role there?
My job title is nurse educator, and I am responsible for the onboarding and orientation of new nursing and patient care services staff. In addition, nurse educators support nursing staff with their professional development and competency management. I primarily work in the Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, but I also have a role in certain medical center-wide initiatives.
What drew you to the field and the role you play at the medical center?
When I was young, I knew I either wanted to be a teacher or a nurse. My grandmother was a huge influence in my life and I chose nursing because of her. I worked as a bedside nurse taking care of cardiac patients for the majority of my nursing career, so when the job of nurse educator for the Ross became available, I knew it would be the perfect fit. That is one of the many things I love about nursing — the possibilities are endless!
How do you stay on top of all of the elements that go into nurse education?
I have my certifications in nursing professional development and cardiac-vascular nursing. Both certifications require additional continuing education to maintain, so I’m continually seeking out new knowledge and learning opportunities. This, in turn, makes it very easy to encourage others to do the same. In addition, I’m very fortunate to work here at an organization that encourages evidence-based practice and has education as one of our strategic goals. This allows our department to seek out new and innovative ways to use technology and simulation with our new nurses, which is not just pretty cool, but fun, too!
Which of the medical center’s core values do you most identify with and why?
Wow, it is tough to pick just one because, like most of us, I identify with them all. I think, being a nurse, empathy is the first one that resonates with me. I typically put the needs of others before mine, to a fault at times. As an educator, I can easily empathize with our new employees as we’ve all been there — this place is exciting but scary for new people all at the same time because of its size. I love being that person who gets to welcome and assure them that it won’t be long before they feel right at home as I did.
What’s the most challenging part of your job? What’s the most rewarding part?
I would say the most challenging part of my job is the evaluation portion of what I do as a nurse educator. Educators must continually evaluate what we are doing to ensure we are meeting the needs of our nursing staff, which in turn requires frequent change. And we all know change can be difficult, even when it’s for the best.
The most rewarding part has been the relationships I’ve built with not only the medical center nurse educators and clinical nurse specialist teams, but also with the leaders and nursing staff at the Ross Heart Hospital.
What else should we know about you?
I am fortunate to have amazing support from my family, which includes my husband, Dave, and our sons, David and Justin. I also love fall and everything that goes with it including college football Saturdays! GO BUCKS!