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Celebrating Achievements During Nursing Professional Development Week

Written by Karen Koppes on in LVMC News

September 23-29 is Nursing Professional Development Week.  This provides an ideal opportunity to recognize the education accomplishments of Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s (LVMC’s) nursing staff. Nurses are expected to function at a high level, in ever-changing conditions, to provide the best possible care for their patients.

September 23-29 is Nursing Professional Development Week.  This provides an ideal opportunity to recognize the education accomplishments of Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s (LVMC’s) nursing staff. Nurses are expected to function at a high level, in ever-changing conditions, to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Many nurses go beyond what is required of them to improve their nursing practice. This can be accomplished many ways, including attending conferences, getting specialty certifications, joining specialty organizations or seeking advanced degrees.

As LVMC’s Nurse Educator, I applaud every single nurse, on top of an already challenging workload, who is motivated to do and be more, because ultimately this makes us all better nurses and creates better outcomes for our patients.  These nurses serve as role models and motivate other staff to improve their competency and expertise. As Florence Nightingale said, “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses…we must be learning all of our lives.”

Yuliana Garcia is a wonderful example of someone who continuously seeks more.  She feels she can “create [her] own future through education.” She advises nurses to “take every opportunity that is given to you. She says that at LVMC, whenever she has gone looking for something in terms of training and education, she has always been able to find it. 

Yuliana began at LVMC as a volunteer in 2010.  She then completed Allan Hancock’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program while simultaneously being enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program in Organizational Development. As a side note, Yuliana also gave birth to her son while working on these simultaneous degrees. She then spent the next three years working at LVMC’s Comprehensive Care Center as a CNA.

Yuliana completed the Registered Nurse program at Santa Barbara City College while working in her CNA role. She spent two years in the Med-Surg Department at LVMC before she approached her director looking for a leadership opportunity.  Recognizing her abilities, her director recommended Yuliana for a House Supervisor position at the CCC, while she continued to work on Med Surg.

In December of 2015, Yuliana made the switch to LVMC’s Critical Care Unit and then started working on a Master’s degree in Nursing Family Practice at California State University Dominguez Hills.

Yuliana’s ultimate goal is to serve the Lompoc community, emphasizing helping Spanish speakers understand and navigate their medical care and focusing on prevention through education in a language they understand.  She continues to work per diem in all departments here at LVMC while completing this degree.

Yuliana is truly an outstanding example of the drive and dedication shown by many nurses at LVMC.

Other efforts to note are the achievement of specialty certifications and memberships in Med-Surg and Surgery Departments.  Linda Greenwood, the resource nurse on Med-Surg, has become a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse, or CMSRN, and the charge nurses in Med-Surg have also begun the process.

In the Surgery Department, Sophia Parra, Tricia Badua and Karen Unrue have started the process to become, or already are, members of the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. Director of Perioperative Services Sarah Gunter and Registered Nurse Jo-An Lipazana have started the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses membership process. Additionally, Jo-an is studying to be Certified Operating Room Nurse. 

A number of these nurses have also taken advantage of LVMC’s support of education advancement, by applying for the organization’s Tuition Reimbursement program. If their applications are approved, the program

pays for certification exams and provides scholarships/loans for Associate and Bachelor degrees, as well as Master-level programs.

We hope you will join us during Nursing Professional Development Week in celebrating the achievements of these nurses.

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Author: Karen Koppes, Nurse Educator

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University, and previously worked at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s surgical trauma unit, and was a preceptor and charge nurse. She also worked as a registered nurse at the cardiac rehab unit at Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital. She was previously clinical instructor for Santa Barbara City College’s School of Nursing.