Expanding the knowledge of nurses


In-service days, staff development and better orientation training for new nurses are some of the ways LVMC’s new nurse educator is making an impact. I'm Melinda DeHoyos, and my 20-hour a week position combines my clinical background with a desire to teach and expand the education of the nursing staff. I keep nurses up-to-date with the most relevant Evidence-Based Practice information – in order to provide safe, effective care.

I have also taken on the task of creating a streamlined process for onboarding, or training, of incoming nursing staff. I’m creating orientation packets for every department, unit specific. We also need to have a better preceptor program, nurses who can be better mentors. I've reached out to every clinical department to find a “nurse champion” to aid me in the job. We can work together to help resolve issues.

The nurse champions are:

  • Jo-An Lipazana, Med-Surg
  • Courtni Ellis, Critical Care Unit
  • Allen Poblete, Emergency Department
  • Diane Brough, Med-Surg

They are the eyes and ears of the department and they are able to work with staff to identify issues, prioritize needs and direct education that is both general and unit-based. Born at Lompoc Hospital, I initially thought I'd become a pharmacist, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in biology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Eventually, I decided that I wanted a career path that involved more in-depth interaction with patients. I took a CNA course to see what it was about. I wanted to learn about nursing and I loved it.”

I transitioned to Cal State San Marcos in Temecula to earn an accelerated 22-month program of Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, or BSN, in 2011. In 2016, I earned a Master’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis on leadership and management from Western Governors University. Though I spent time in hospitals in Southern California, I wanted to be back on the Central Coast.

Lompoc is my home. This is where I grew up. My family lives here. This is where we call home. Dr. (Panagattur) Ramalingam was my doctor. Dr. (Wendell) Jamison delivered me. It’s amazing to work with these doctors now. Five years ago, I applied to work as a nurse on the Medical-Surgical unit at LVMC, and was able to use my experience with a Fetal Monitoring class transfer to the Labor and Delivery department. When I took on the new job in Education, I reached out to Marian Regional Medical Center and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital to see if there were opportunities for shared training. I and a number of other nurses recently attended the Diabetes Update conference at Cottage.

I want more opportunities for staff to educate themselves. If someone really wants to learn about diabetes, they should be able to. I want to open up bridges for people to have these opportunities. In nursing, I've found her fit. It’s such a fun and rewarding career. I wouldn’t pick anything else. So many things branch off of it. It’s amazing what you can do with nursing. I tell everybody young who doesn’t know what they’re doing to think about nursing. Look what you can do.