A career journey that began with the United States Marine Corps, and transitioned to a rewarding civilian IT career at Northwell
When Robert Shimonski started his career with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in 1992, he never could have imagined his path would lead him to where he is today. During his eight years of service in the USMC, he made significant advancements in his roles from serving four years on active duty as an aircraft mechanic and ultimately being promoted to Sergeant. Then he spent another four years in the active reserves and was transferred to a unit responsible for satellite communications and logistics, in which he promoted to Staff Sergeant as a senior leader of Marines. Today, Robert is now our Director of Infrastructure Services and Management, and he attributes his personal experiences from active military to his successful career here at Northwell.
As the Director of two large teams, Robert is most passionate about his responsibility to the care, wellbeing, and growth of his fellow team members. As one of the strategic leaders of the IS Operations Center (ISOC), Robert and his team ensure that if an IT matter arises that requires resolution that it is handled as swiftly as possible. The systems management solutions team Robert is responsible for handles building, deploying, configuring, and administering the enterprise tools required to monitor our health system, which is comprised of thousands of devices, systems, applications, and important clinical infrastructure. Both teams together provide a critical layer of protection to ensure ongoing operations of the Northwell Health system.
When asked about how his military experience translates into a career at Northwell, Robert says: “Most skills you learn about in military leadership translate very well into a civilian career. Whatever role you perform in the military, there is a component of leadership applied at every level, so you are always developing leadership skills. That experience has helped me to become a better leader in my current role within a healthcare environment.”
Robert has been a member of our VALOR BERG (Business Employee Resource Group) since its inception. He has watched it grow to a very large group of team members helping to support various veteran organizations. Robert shares that the VALOR BERG gives its members the opportunity to work together, to learn, and support each other. It’s that ability to make a difference that helps him fuel his passion to help with the BERG’s mission and also assist Military Liaison Services (MLS), Northwell’s veteran support department. These two groups are aimed at making a difference for veterans and the community.
“If you enjoy doing work that impacts lives, builds community, and helps provide benefits and services to those in need, then Northwell is the place to be. Veterans are encouraged to apply and join the ranks here at Northwell and from one veteran to another, it’s been an amazing journey that I appreciate being a part of,” says Robert.
Social Services Careers at Northwell Health, Raise Your Career Expectations
Careers in Social Services at Northwell Health provide opportunities to learn, grow and raise your career expectations in a field where you can truly impact the community. Whether your career journey is just starting out, moving into a more senior position, or you’ve begun to explore a new direction, Northwell has the resources to support and guide you on your path. Below, you will find information on the many areas of specialization for the social services profession at Northwell. For the complete job profiles of each role, we invite you to visit NorthwellCareers.com or click on the link below to discover a career well cared for with our team.
Check out our open social services positions here.
Career growth and development means different things to different people. For Jessica Jimenez and Tamaka Wallace, their nursing careers began along different paths but through tuition support and mentorship, they blossomed just the same and continue to grow at Northwell Health. Read below to learn more about these unique career journeys in nursing and imagine your own career path with us.
Jessica Jimenez, Clinical Professional Development Educator
Jessica Jimenez, clinical professional development educator for the emergency department at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream (LIJVS), started her nursing career at Northwell in 2013 as a student nurse extern. It didn’t take long for Jessica to envision what her career path could be. According to Jessica, Northwell is as much focused on expanding the services we provide to the community, as we are in expanding opportunities for our employees to learn and grow throughout their careers. “It’s one of the reasons I was attracted to the health system in the first place. I could tell that Northwell had big plans for the future and since joining, I have felt every bit a part of their vision.”
Jessica found tuition support in her strive for professional development when she enrolled in a nursing leadership and administration master’s program through a partnership between Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) and Stony Brook University. She originally felt nervous when presented with this opportunity, but the encouragement from her mentors outmatched any trepidation she had about her own abilities. “Whenever I wondered whether I was ready for the next step, my leaders and mentors at Northwell would provide me with encouragement so I could move forward with zero doubt.”
Jessica found the road from nurse extern to clinical professional development educator paved by infinite support. Today, she is responsible for onboarding the new nursing staff at the LIJVS emergency department and runs their orientation and nurse fellowship program, where she teaches new graduate nurses starting out in their career. “My role involves many different responsibilities. Mainly, I aim to provide exceptional training through courses and simulations so that my peers feel as prepared as I did.”
Tameka Wallace, Director of Patient Care
Tameka Wallace, director of patient care for out-patient ambulatory surgery at the Schwartz Ambulatory Surgery Center at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH), joined Northwell as a teenager taking advantage of an internship program in the summer of 2000. For Tameka, the attraction of a career at Northwell started at home. Tameka’s mother was a clerical support associate at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) at the time, so she became very familiar with the culture and knew that Northwell was where she wanted to be. “Everyone is respected and there is a palpable drive to promote diversity.” Not long after the internship, Tameka joined her mother in the nursing program at Farmingdale State College and together they graduated with their associate degrees in Nursing. Every step of the way, Tameka said she felt supported from the organization. From mentorship opportunities to tuition reimbursement, she had the support in continuing her education to obtain a master’s degree in Nursing, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration.
Like Jessica, Tameka credits the relationships she has built with her peers and leaders for bolstering her confidence and opening the career path ahead of her beyond what she could have imagined. She attributes her achievements to both her own determination and the championing she received from her mentors. From attaining her associate’s degree, to her bachelor’s degree and then to a double master’s degree, she never felt alone in the adventure.
Since Tameka’s days as a support care associate, she has been passionate about patient care and has been able to grow in her position so that she can increase her impact on the patient community. “I love what I do every day. My duties include evaluating and directing all nursing employees, establishing goals for the nursing department, and creating and enforcing compliant healthcare policies.” Making a difference for the nursing staff and patients motivates Tameka to continue her growth and it explains a nomination she received for Magnet Nursing Leader of the Year at NSUH. An avid advocate for the special needs community, Tameka is also looking for opportunities to make strides in the healthcare of these patients and their families. She has her sights set on finding ways to incorporate more understanding and informed care in support of special needs patients.
Forge your own unique and passionate nursing journey at Northwell Health, discover a career well cared for here.
Celebrating National Women’s History Month with Sandra Lindsay, first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
After making history as the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, more than one year later, Sandra Lindsay reflects on her experience and shares career advice for anyone looking toward the next chapter of their career journey.
Tell us about your career journey and why you wanted to become a nurse.
I always knew I wanted to become a nurse. I was raised by my grandparents and took great pleasure in caring for my grandmother who suffered from chronic illnesses. Despite her health history, she was a fierce educator, church organist, community leader, and provider for our family. This fueled my passion for wanting to care for more people.
My journey at Northwell began at Lenox Hill Hospital (LHH). I started as a nurse extern in the emergency department, after which I was hired as a staff nurse in oncology. After three and half years in oncology, I moved on to critical care where I held clinical nursing roles in the medical intensive care unit and critical care unit, before being promoted into leadership roles. Prior to my promotion as director and subsequent transfer to Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC), I served as the nurse manager for the medical intensive care unit at LHH.
Today, I currently serve as the director of Patient Care Services for critical care at LIJMC, a position which I’ve held for the past six years. In this role, I have responsibilities for four intensive care units, as well as the respiratory care unit. I oversee the clinical practice of more than 200 employees in the and manage daily and strategic operations for the units.
What helped you grow along your career journey? Can you provide a few areas where you received the support you needed to grow as a nurse and as a leader?
I had a great experience in the emergency department, soaking up every bit of information that I could and thankfully the nurses were patient and kind. They took me under their wings. My first preceptor in oncology was stern but also very patient, and kind. She really helped me get a good foundation as a clinical nurse as did all my preceptors in the various critical care units that I worked in. I will also never forget the day I met the AED of quality management at LHH, who offered to mentor me. We shared a love of gardening, and over the years she shared many pearls of leadership wisdom with me, that still support my practice today. There have been other mentors who helped me to grow tremendously.
What is something you wish someone would have told you before you graduated nursing school?
At the time that I graduated, I wish someone would have told me that in addition to building my nursing skills, building relationship skills with patients, families, and a multidisciplinary team is also paramount to a successful career.
If you could offer career advice to anyone, what would it be and why?
I think it is important to follow your dreams and seek out mentors who will provide you with honest feedback. After landing that dream job, the work does not end. Staying engaged and passionate about whatever that role is, requires continuous learning. Treat it as a journey, not a destination.
Going into our third year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandra hopes that we can all get some much-needed relief and healing. She states, “We are closer to the end than the beginning and we should not give up now.”
Treat your career as a journey, just like Sandra Lindsay. Become a Health Raiser at Northwell Health and see available nursing opportunities here.
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