Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Registered nurse Jodi Stewart didn’t initially apply to be a nursing director at the care center where she worked, because she didn’t have any experience as a nursing director. But colleagues urged her to apply and she won the job. As nursing director at Cascade Park Care Center, “the residents are my highest priority,” she says.
Name: Jodi Stewart.
Job/employer: Director of nursing, Cascade Park Care Center, 801 S.E. Park Crest Ave.
Education/professional background: I got my registered nurse degree at Clark College and started my career. I worked at a couple other facilities before coming to Cascade Park Care Center in 1998.
How you would describe yourself: Dedicated, especially to the elderly.
How you became nursing director: I started working as a resident care manger and an assessment nurse. I didn’t apply for the director job when it became available because I didn’t have any experience, but my co-workers talked me into applying. I got the job.
Most rewarding part of job: I think the most rewarding part of the job is seeing people return to their homes. The care they receive is part of the reason they can go back home. I like seeing a positive outcome for the patients.
Most challenging part of job: The job has become very competitive over the years. We are always learning new ways of doing things. There is more education for nurses. We do everything we can to prevent patients from having to be re-admitted to the hospital.
Job accomplishments: While I have been director at Cascade Park we have become a five-star facility, one of the top 100 in the nation. Life Care Centers of America, which owns Cascade Park, named me Director of Nursing of the Year in 2004, 2008 and 2011. We received deficiency-free surveys the past two times that CMS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has reviewed our facility.
Personal/business philosophy: I want Cascade Park to be a premier provider of skilled nursing in the community. The residents are my highest priority.
Something you would like to do over: I have not ever regretted becoming a nurse. It is the best decision I ever made in my life and I have always loved working with the elderly.
Best feature of my community: The lake, the quiet. It is beautiful.
What would make your community a better place: I can’t think of anything.
Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: Roots Restaurant.
Volunteer activities: I am involved with the Health Associated Infection Prevention community-based task force. We continue to learn how to prevent the spread of infection and educate the community.
Favorite travel destination: Europe.
Most interesting book in last 12 months: “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon.
Most interesting play/movie/arts event: I don’t have a favorite. I love musicals and liked “Mamma Mia.”
One thing you want to do this year: Excel at reducing re-admissions to the hospital. My nursing and therapy staff will continuously adjust patient care procedures so people are able to return to their homes or remain at Cascade, and not have to return to the hospital.
Something you want to do within five years: I would like to get my master’s degree in nursing.