Jena’s Story – Exploring New Opportunities for Nurses

For Jena Baldrey, a Nursing Supervisor at Hope’s Home, nursing wasn’t always the clear choice. After completing her degree and her practicum, she worried that this wasn’t the career for her. Then came Hope’s Home: an unexpected career opportunity that showed her that finding an organization to work for that is centered around passion, love, and holistic care was a much better choice.

Pre-Hope’s Home

I did not grow up wishing to be a nurse – in fact, it was a career choice made much later in life than expected. After I made the decision that this would be my path, pediatrics was the place I saw myself excelling and making a difference. The thought of working with children filled my soul and I knew it would be amazing and rewarding. When I did my first clinical in acute pediatrics at RUH in Saskatoon, I was so excited and hopeful. However, my perspective immediately changed after the first few days. I found the environment busy, overstimulating, and nurses and health care professionals were overworked and overrun with tasks, in turn being unable to provide the extra personal side of nursing that the children and families so desperately needed. Now, please do not get me wrong. I am in no way judgmental or critical of the work these amazing professionals do, I just had higher hopes for the outdated system of crisis management; and I thought the system should be recognizing that early intervention and holistic care is the recipe for overall wellness.

“I found the [hospital] environment busy, overstimulating, and nurses and health care professionals were overworked and overrun with tasks, in turn being unable to provide the extra personal side of nursing that the children and families so desperately needed.”

Upon graduation I began my career in the Prince Albert emergency department at the Victoria Hospital. I had been given such an amazing preceptorship with such great mentorship and guidance that I was so excited to start this new chapter, regardless of how far it was from the vision I saw for the healthcare system. I started out as a bright-eyed grad hoping to make a difference, but I jumped so fast with both feet that all too soon I began to get desensitized. The fast paced, adrenalizing pumping atmosphere that I had loved despite its challenges, quickly lost its appeal and my appreciation and job satisfaction became a distant memory. The hospital became an environment where safety was a secondary concern due to short or inadequate staffing. I went from feeling that I had found my long-term career “home” to losing a little piece of myself and losing sight of what I had entered into this profession for in the first place.

Enter Hope’s Home

 

“I have learned more about myself, my values, and what it truly means to advocate for those who can not advocate for themselves than I ever thought possible.”

A few short years later, after much banter back and forth, Nicole Cook gave me the amazing opportunity to become a part of Hope’s Home. This is where my love of pediatrics and making a difference in a broken system with a mix of community and acute care truly became my new home. Through Hope’s Home and the endless changes, innovation, and dreams of something better for children and families, is where I grew into the nurse and leader I am today. Although initially I did not understand the most important characteristics of an effective leader – hard work, determination and a bit of a lopsided understanding of work life balance – I launched into the Director of Operations at Hope’s Home in Prince Albert. It was not an easy road, nor is it today, however inspiring positive change and growth never is. But one thing I know for sure, it is very rewarding. I have learned more about myself, my values, and what it truly means to advocate for those who can not advocate for themselves than I ever thought possible. I have been given so many opportunities for growth and development because that is truly what Hope’s Home does – believe in and encourage their employees.

I came into this organization wanting to make a difference, and I realized that it takes a strong, amazing, and diverse group of individuals who can see beyond status quo to make a difference together. This team pushes past the societal norm to make this organization a true home for not only the children, but for the all the staff and Hope’s Home pioneers. I was lucky enough to be part of this journey where I was able to learn and grow from my shortcomings and alongside others, who despite what their background or education may be, taught me what it meant to truly love unconditionally and inspire others. I have seen many staff come and go and despite the reason or circumstance, I do not believe one has left without being touched in some way – either by the children, their colleagues, or just the whole philosophy behind Hope’s Home and Jaqueline Tisher’s vison. I changed my perspective in so many ways since I was a fresh RN Grad, and it has become my overall goal to become the most effective and influential leader, mentor, coach, and professional I can be. Not only for the personal satisfaction, but so that I might give back to the individual’s of this amazing place – to the children, the families, and of course to the staff who have taught and given me so much.

 

Jena Baldrey

Nursing Supervisor

Hopes Home Prince Albert

 

Have questions for Jena? Leave them down below!

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