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.