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From Nurse to Nurse:
An Experienced Nurse’s Advice to New Nurses


Hi, my name is Debbie Johnson, and I have been an LPN at the Country Meadows of West Shore for over 15 years as the Senior Associate Director of Wellness and recently promoted to co-Director of Wellness.

In 2012 I received the Pennsylvania Health Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management’s “Nurse of the Year Award,” and in 2013 I was nominated for the Central PA Parent’s “Healthcare Hero Award.”

Deb Johnson  
Debbie Johnson talks with a resident.  

Country Meadows Retirement Communities is a retirement community offering independent living, personal care and memory support and is a wonderful place to work. It is more like being at home than work. You see, I work with an amazing team of co-workers who are all here for the same reason: for our residents in their home. Because our residents give us so much, we, in return, want to give back to them all we can to let them know they are loved and appreciated. They become your family away from home, and they teach us so much about life, caring and compassion. When you see them smile, you cannot help but have an incredible day and thank God for allowing you to work in a place that is so family-oriented.
I have worked in skilled care and am very happy for that opportunity, but personal care is where my heart and soul are at their best. Personal care continues to allow me to practice my nursing skills though not in the form of trachs or feeding tubes, rather, using my assessment skills. We get to know our residents and observe when someone is walking slower, not eating as well, have increased edema or are increasingly short of breath. While taking vital signs, we observe for changes in health status and take the necessary steps to restore health. We always treat our residents with respect, and we enjoy their respect. We bond on social, emotional and spiritual levels. We know their families, and they know us.
As a new nurse, a personal-care setting can be a perfect place to begin your career. While we all need to learn how to manage equipment like catheters, IVs and more, a nurse’s relationship with the individual is the most important skill. Learning how to be a good listener, patient, compassionate and empathic—these are the qualities that have made me a better nurse. Come join us at Country Meadows and see for yourself how you can make a difference in personal care.

Start today! We have LPN openings at both Country Meadows of West Shore (in Mechanicsburg) and our sister retirement community in Harrisburg, Ecumenical Retirement Community. Visit here, and our HR team will be in touch.