Lisa Howard has a pretty big smile on her face when she talks about her latest promotion to the Director of Nursing (DON) for the Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation neighborhood at Friendship Village Chesterfield.
She’s proud of herself and she’s proud of the work she’s done to get to where she’s at. She started as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)…and Lisa has been promoted FIVE times in the fourteen years she’s been at FV!
She smiles and she has definitely earned that smile.
“When I became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in 2005, I didn’t see myself going further,” but when Lisa became an LPN Supervisor, she soon realized “I think I’m going to keep moving forward and go back for more training and see how far I can go.”
And she kept going.
“The Director of Nursing (DON) position was kind of in the back of my mind, but then I decided I really wanted to do it…and what better place to do it than Friendship Village? At FV, I feel that everyone has my back, letting me know I can ask anyone for something I need.”
And Lisa knew early in her career that she wanted to work in senior living.
“When I started as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) taking care of residents, I soon realized I wanted to care for people who I call family members. I’m just so amazed at their stories! They built railroads, they worked on farms, they fought in wars. And that’s one thing that brought me back to long-term care after working in a regular hospital setting for a while. The patient turnaround is so fast, you might not see that person again and you wonder what they’re doing or if they’re okay,” Lisa said.
“And by getting to know a resident, it makes me a better advocate for them. Professionals always say, ‘don’t become close to a resident,’ but I just feel there’s no way I can’t. I get to know their life history and what they’re like as people. And I know that one day, I might be in the exact situation, so I want to have a good nurse to take care of me the way that I take care of my people.”
To top it all off, Lisa has two daughters who ALSO want to work in the healthcare field in SENIOR LIVING!
Lisa missed out on a lot of family time because she worked and studied so much, but she still managed to pass down her love of her work to her two daughters. “They are both LPNs. They were pretty much brought up in Friendship Village. They came to my workplace and got to meet my co-workers and residents. And my older daughter is moving back to the area next month and she will be working in Assisted Living at Friendship Village because she has always wanted to work here and work with me,” Lisa said.
Thank you for sharing your time and your talents with us, Lisa. We’re blessed to have you!