Shelia T. Campbell of Ellenwood Georgia.

Shelia Campbell: Nurse Retention

Shelia T. Campbell of Ellenwood Georgia.
Shelia T. Campbell of Ellenwood Georgia.

Shelia Campbell from Ellenwood, Georgia, became a nurse because she wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. She has been doing that for many years for her patients in clinics and long-term care facilities. Now with her DNP degree from Brenau, she is focused on finding ways to make a difference for other nurses, too.

“The program got me excited. I started thinking more about what I can do to improve nursing, to bring more nurses into the profession,” Campbell said.

Campbell works as a clinical operations nurse for a long-term care organization, and she has focused on ensuring that residents in her facilities get good care and quality of life.

“I don’t view nursing homes as places people go to die. I see them as places where people can rehabilitate and get back into the community, or for people who may be looking for a place to live for the rest of their lives. A nursing home is a very important place for them,” she said.

However, many nursing homes also experience high turnover rates of their nursing staffs. Campbell used her capstone project in the DNP program to figure out why. She discovered that professional development opportunities and the right kind of nurse leaders led to fewer nurses leaving their jobs at long-term care facilities. Campbell used the results to guide implementation of nurse retention programs at her own facilities, which improved staff morale and quality of care.

“It was something I could actually put into practice, which was great,” she said.

With her DNP degree, Campbell hopes to pursue nurse leadership opportunities that could allow her to redefine nursing practice in long-term care. Eventually, she hopes to return to school to earn a Ph.D.

“Nursing is not a stagnant profession, it’s about research, growth and learning new ways to help your patients,” she said. “You can’t do that if you’re not willing to go out there and continuously self-improve.”

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