10 Questions with Mary Jean (Shanks) Vickers (’76)

mary-jean-vickers

Year of graduation from Mount Carmel: 1976, Diploma

Other degrees/credentials: I earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1989 and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in 1992, both from The Ohio State University, College of Nursing. In 2009 I earned my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. My credentials include ACNS (Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist); NEA (Nurse Executive Advanced) and APRN (Advance Practice Registered Nurse, license).

Professional Highlights:

  • Ten years of practice at Mount Carmel Medical Center, which included experience in OB, Medical Surgical Nursing and Critical Care
  • Clinical Associate at The Ohio State University teaching undergraduate students in Assessment course, Medical Surgical Nursing course and Senior level Advance Medical Surgical Nursing course
  • Director of Nursing in an Assisted Living Community, Summerwood of Plymouth, a Presbyterian Homes Community. Care of the geriatric patients and memory care program were highlights.
  • Manager of Clinical Development at University of Minnesota Medical Center where I developed an on-line Learning Management system orientation and competency program among other innovative approaches to Nursing education and staff development, including a Transition to Professional Nursing Practice program for new graduate nurses.
  • Director of Nursing Practice and Education also at the University of Minnesota Medical Center where I have led the development of education programs for the Fairview Health System and led the Clinical Nurse Specialist team in process improvement and evidence practice approaches to improving the quality of nursing care and patient outcomes. In addition, developing the competency and education program for our regional containment unit in response to the Ebola concerns in 2014. We are now a recognized center for containment of this type of communicable disease.
  • Accreditation for Nursing Education (ACEN) Site visitor and Board of Commissioner member

What is your hometown and where do you currently live? I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and my current hometown is Minneapolis, Minnesota.

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? Eighth grade, secondary to my grandmother experiencing cancer and my mother’s work at Children’s Hospital with the Oncology clinic and an academic interest in science.

What television shows do you have to DVR every week? Political commentary programs to keep up with the news (I consider myself a bit of a news junky).

What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel? The friends I made that have been life-long friendships and have withstood the test of time and distance. One memory we enjoyed is having a water bucket battle on the 6th floor of the dorm during the first summer of classes. Another would be how nervous we were preparing for clinical with Ms. Fitzpatrick. I was also honored to take care of Mrs. (Ann) Schiele when she had a baby. But, my most precious realization is how much I have valued my Mount Carmel education throughout my career. The emphasis on the strength of generalist nursing practice has been the foundation of my nursing career and allowed me to experience so many specialties without fear or anxiety.

What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your Kindle favorites)? I read a lot of history or political books as well as nursing-related books. Some recent books have been Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, and Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life.

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professionally or both? Mostly personally through life-long friendships and the pride I feel in the education I received from Mount Carmel.

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from student to alumni of Mount Carmel? Appreciate the foundation a Mount Carmel nursing degree has provided. The skills of a nursing generalist practice will always support you no matter what specialty you focus upon. Embrace lifelong learning. Nursing has changed so much over my 40 year career, you must always be prepared to learn new things to keep up with changing methods, skills, technology, and improve your approach to the care of the most vulnerable: our patients.

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