Working full-time, raising a family and then pulling all-nighters to earn a degree is the reality for many determined Baltimorean’s. Deborah Mello, RN B.S., nursing recruitment and retention consultant at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, a LifeBridge Health center, can relate. Even with 30 years of experience in the nursing field, Ms. Mello made the decision to return to school and complete her B.S. in 2005. After many nights at the dining room table teeming with books and papers, she graduated with honors – an accomplishment that was well worth the wait.
How has education prepared you for your job?
“After attending Fall River Diploma School of Nursing in Massachusetts and becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1974, it was evident that a Baccalaureate degree was the new standard for nurses. Nearly 30 years later, I pursued a B.S. in Health Systems Management at a program created especially for health care professionals at the University of Baltimore (UB). We were immersed in learning about the changing world of health care, including financial and legal aspects as well as economics, ethics and leadership. What I learned at UB prepared me for a business role in a clinical setting, and gave me the tools I needed to do my job.”
Could you have reached your present position without your education endeavors?
“I could not have obtained my current position without a bachelor’s degree. Although I had two years of recruiter experience under my belt, the position at Sinai required a degree. Luckily, I interviewed a couple of weeks after I graduated.”
What do you remember most about earning your degree?
“Because I got my B.S. so late and worked so hard to get it – I am one of those few people who has the diploma on the wall of my office. The program at UB was ingenious. Students received credit for completing traditional courses in nursing or radiology and were admitted to the upper level program. All of the students worked full-time in local hospitals, attended class every Saturday, were placed in cohorts and formed great relationships. We flourished in this stimulating learning environment.”
How do you keep your skills up to date?
“I would advise RNs to keep a clinical position on the side. In this market, it is very important not to lose the clinical skills. When I entered recruitment, I did not do that. However, I did complete a refresher course.”
What advice would you share with someone interested in your career field?
“Nurses who have an interest in sales, marketing or business may want to look at a career in recruitment. As a recruitment and retention consultant, I am still part of the dynamic academic hospital environment we have at Sinai.”
Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her online at beazellblog.com and Examiner.com.