Vicki Chase, MSN, RN, CDE, discusses some of the highlights and benefits of her 30-year career at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. She was named WVU Medicine-WVU Hospitals' inaugural Magnet Nurse of the Year in May.
Why did you choose WVU Medicine?
Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity! I moved to the area to start over, and Morgantown is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. The hospital administration has always supported my work, ambitions, and dreams. I have raised a family of five children and completed both my BSN (from the WVU School of Nursing) and MSN degrees since I started working here. Other benefits to being a nurse at WVU Medicine include flexible scheduling, tuition reimbursement, market analysis pay raises, an employee wellness program, and excellent healthcare coverage.
What positive work experiences have you had?
I started working in the hospital as a staff nurse and quickly became a nurse manager. I had the wonderful experience of being a part of the grand opening of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center. Working with phenomenal people and advanced technology, it’s so fulfilling to help the people of West Virginia while being a part of an extraordinary team. WVU Medicine offers opportunities for advancement, and I took on leadership roles in radiology and medicine working on dialysis and observation units. Now, I work as the coordinator for the Diabetes Education Center helping patients change their lifestyles and improve their health as they live with diabetes. Being named Magnet Nurse of the Year has been a huge honor and the pinnacle of my career.
What advancements have you seen take place?
When I started working at the old WVU Hospitals, the building was in need of repair, and we desperately needed more space for patients. We watched with excitement as the new Ruby Memorial Hospital was being built and toured it as construction went along. I felt a sense of accomplishment watching all of the growth, and it continues today. There are endless opportunities for nurses as we continue to grow, build a new tower, and expand many healthcare services across the state of West Virginia and surrounding areas. WVU Medicine recognizes the needs of patients, families, staff, and providers to improve not only the facilities where we provide patient care, but the culture of caring that extends to all patients who enter our doors.
What would you tell a nurse who is considering employment here?
Working for WVU Medicine, the only Magnet-designated hospital in the state, is the opportunity of a lifetime. You have a chance to improve patient outcomes, increase quality of life, and truly make a difference in an environment that supports and respects your nursing profession.