Nursing and other health care positions are some of the highest-growing and most in-demand here in Houston, due to our booming Texas Medical Center and the numerous nursing and medical educational programs in the city. As the demand for medical professionals grows, nursing and other medical qualifications will be highly sought after and good career paths for those interested in both science and helping others.
Kim Killen, an audit and compliance nurse at Grace Care Center at Northpointe in North Houston, talks about some of her experience and education in this rapidly expanding career field.
What do you have a degree in?
“I graduated from San Jacinto North with a LVN degree in 2004 and started at a skilled rehab immediately as a floor nurse.”
What does your current position in health entail?
“Currently I am an audit and compliance/education nurse at Grace Care Center at Northpointe in Tomball. I review the current records to ensure everything needed for the resident is correct in the chart for state survey purposes. I also am responsible for the education and in-servicing of all staff, to ensure their skills are up to the level we need to correctly and safely care for our residents. Due to the constant changes in health care, it is important that all employees stay current on certain information and continue with a high level of skill. Also, the newly hired staff needs to feel safe and secure in their own skills to care for residents.”
How do you feel about continuing education in the nursing field?
“I am a certified AHA CPR instructor, I can read EKG strips and I have taken IV classes. I feel continuing my skill training is most important in my role and in patient care. This is not to say that I won’t have a change of heart in the future and seek to further my education. LVNs are a dying breed in that companies are looking for people with more education and more experience, thus the higher nursing title.”
Do you have any advice for those interested in nursing?
“My advice would be not to pick nursing unless it is what you really want to do. Just about anyone can read and pass a test; this industry is not the glamorous and fun filled experience that is shown on TV. Do not wait to go back to school if you want to further you career. Take it upon yourself to learn the career that you have chosen so you can be confident that you can practice safely and not rely on a school to have taught you everything.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.