When Kimberly McCord started her job search during the final months of her nursing education, she had some important criteria: Staying in Oregon, finding a hospital that valued continuing education and being able to spend time with her family on weekends.
"When I was researching hospitals in Portland, I found that most nursing schedules included at least two weekends a month," said McCord. "At Samaritan, I only have to work one weekend a month. That was a big draw for me."
In addition to the favorable scheduling, McCord also chose Samaritan because she could participate in the Critical Care Internship for new nursing graduates. The internship provides six weeks of additional specialized classroom education focusing on caring for critically ill patients and then additional months working closely with an experienced preceptor.
"When you get out of nursing school you think you know everything," said McCord. "Then you quickly find out you don't. Being able to participate in the internship really helped build my foundation for providing care. I finished having a much better base for my career."
McCord said following completion of the Internship and passing the tests, she then accepted a position at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis in the Progressive Care Unit (PCU). Four years later, she's now acting as a preceptor for new grads in the Critical Care Internship.
"I love teaching new nurses," said McCord. "They've got great ideas and I think the process benefits both the new nurses and our nursing units."
McCord says that the culture at Samaritan is one of teamwork, education and best practices. She says she never feels like she's working alone and that she enjoys the open atmosphere and communication at work.
"If there's a patient who's not doing well, everyone gathers together and talks about it," she explained. "We really work together as a team and I think it's a great benefit to our patients."
As she had hoped when she chose to join Samaritan, the organization's emphasis on continuing education has paid off.
"Samaritan recently sent me to NTI, a national critical care nursing conference," said McCord. "They covered all the costs and it was an amazing experience. I was able to bring back some great ideas that we could put into action here in our unit. I really appreciate that education is so valued within our organization."