Nursing Excellence Times Three!
Methodist Health System
At the 2022 D Magazine Excellence in Nursing Awards celebration, Methodist Health System was proud to have 23 winning nurses. We know how excellent our nurses — all our nurses — are, but it’s truly an honor to see these great professionals recognized by outside organizations.
Plenty of photos were snapped that night, but the three nurses in this particular picture have an interesting, intertwining backstory that we thought worth sharing. All three nurses started their careers in the same unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. They’ve grown into different leadership roles but stayed connected. We asked them about the journey that brought them to this illustrious point.
Meet three excellent nurses
Methodist Health System: How did your career start and how has it grown?
Cheyenne Ruby, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, director, Magnet® program (left): I actually did clinical rotations in nursing school at Methodist Dallas. I was required to do at least one shift with a charge nurse, so I asked my director who she would recommend, and she said, “Kelly Finney is an excellent charge nurse, and you should follow her.” So I did.
Kelly Finney, BSN, RN, MEDSURG-BC, nurse manager, progressive care unit: transplant and advanced surgery (center): I started 15 years ago at Methodist Dallas as a nurse resident (we called them interns back then) in the transplant, nephrology, and hepatology unit. I worked as a staff nurse, charge nurse, house supervisor, and then nurse manager, which I’ve been for five years.
Nora Billodeaux, DNP, MEDSURG-BC, NPD-BC, nurse manager, urology and general medical-surgical (right): I started in 2013 as an intern (now called nurse resident). I was a staff nurse, then a charge nurse, and then a house supervisor, who basically has oversight and responsibility for staffing the department. After I got my master’s degree, I accepted a position as a medical-surgical educator in 2019. While in that role, I later went back to school for a doctorate in nursing practice with a concentration in healthcare systems leadership. Within the last two months, I have become a nurse manager.
Kelly: Let me interject here. Nora is a lifelong learner. She has multiple degrees, and she has definitely inspired me to do more. Now I am enrolled in a Master of Science in nursing administration.
Cheyenne: When I graduated, I took a nurse residency position. I did a variety of roles, and then I decided to go back to school and get my master’s degree. After that, an educator position opened up, which interested me, so I became an educatoA few years ago, the Department of Labor offered a huge grant program to develop apprenticeships in healthcare. We had been doing apprenticeships for years — we just called them residencies. So we applied for a grant and got it. We became the first registered apprenticeship for nurses in Dallas-Fort Worth! After that, an opportunity came up for a Magnet® program director, and I got the position. I’ve been in that role for two years.
Methodist: It seems that your relationships have empowered all three of you to excel. Why is that?
Nora: We all have worked together, helping each other. Kelly is my preceptor as a nurse manager.
Kelly: I feel so supported by Nora and Cheyenne. We started together, had our kids at the same time, and have gone on this nursing journey together.
Cheyenne: We all have kind of mentored each other. Kelly mentored me. I’ve mentored Nora. Now Kelly is mentoring her as a nurse manager.
Part of that is just the Methodist culture. Our hospital loves to grow their own. Honestly, we’re a big product of our environment.
Methodist: Why do you think you were nominated for this honor?
Nora: I believe that it’s not what you say; it’s the example you set. Our peers have seen us grow. They see that we work hard and support our staff. I come into work at 2 a.m. on many nights so I can be here for the night shift as well as the day shift. So Kelly can go to sleep knowing that I’m taking care of the night shift nurses. I’m going to make this a happy environment. I also push people to get certified — we all do.
Kelly: The hard work we put in stems from our passion for the patients and the staff. We set an example. Nora is such a positive person; she inspires those around her. We want the staff engaged and coming to work every day happy. A happy staff means happy patients.
Nora: One of Kelly’s attributes as a manager is that she inspires us to give her what she wants. She’s always available and responsive to others.
Cheyenne: I just do what I’m supposed to do. But we’ve hit some really great achievements in the last few years. I absolutely love elevating the practice of nursing.
Methodist: That makes three of you!
If you’re looking for an organization that is committed to elevating nurses and nursing, take a look at Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.
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