Rated #1 in graduate nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is just one of several colleges in the area turning out highly qualified nurses. And thanks to good job opportunities for nurses in the county, the prospects for continued growth in this profession are very encouraging.

(Photo Courtesy of Gloria Blackmon, BSN, RN-BC, CLTC-DON)

(Photo Courtesy of Gloria Blackmon, BSN, RN-BC, CLTC-DON)

However, to gain a foothold in the fields of nursing, Gerontology or nurse management, education is crucial, attests Gloria Blackmon, BSN, RN-BC, CLTC-DON, who is Director of Nursing for long-term care at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore. With 30 years of experience in the nursing field, for Ms. Blackmon it all started with earning her associate’s degree.

Where did you earn your degree(s)?

“I received my Associate Degree in Nursing, which means that I’m a registered nurse (RN), from Maryville College in Saint Louis, Missouri. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at the University of Missouri in Saint Louis. I am also certified in Gerontology nursing, which is the study of the process of aging. I received that certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).”

How has education prepared you for your job?

“Learning the internal workings of the human body and how medications and procedures affect it, developing management principles to have a good rapport with employees and colleagues and acquiring a well-rounded view of treating patients and their families are all essential to my job. Additionally, being certified in Gerontology makes it vital to understand how treating elders is different from caring for younger adults and children.”

What continuing education is required for your specific role?

“I take certification classes in general nursing and Gerontology nursing. I earn at least 150 continuing education credits (CEs) in my specialty. I also write articles for publications and chapters in textbooks.”

How do you keep your skills up to date?

“When overseeing and being hands on at a 210-bed long-term care center, I am constantly keeping my skills and knowledge up to date. I am also involved in education sessions with employees so I am always brushing up on my own abilities. Plus, there is always the need to learn how new equipment and techniques work.”

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