I am still a nurse: And that would make my grandmother proud

Nurse looking at iPad in hospital lobby

While I may work for a software company as a Senior Business Consultant, I’m still a nurse!

When I was young, family and friends would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. One of the conversations that stands out as I reminisce about the past was the discussion I had with my grandma when she would suggest that I become a nurse.

I was too focused on playing and enjoying my childhood, so I didn’t put much thought into it at the time. In addition, I thought I had so much time to worry about that later.

Fast-forward to several years later when I was in high school; unfortunately, my grandma had passed away and those earlier conversations were blurred in my memory. I wasn’t able to ask her the important questions I now wanted to know and that were important to me as a young adult.

What drove her to a career in nursing? What was her area of focus when she practiced? What did she enjoy the most about nursing?

There were many other questions, but it was now up to me to figure out the answers.

Don’t take time and wise people for granted

Jill and her grandmother's nursing graduation ceremony pins.

Jill and her grandmother’s nursing graduation ceremony pins.

Regrettably, when we are young, many of us don’t appreciate the time we have with our elders – especially grandparents, as we are too busy with other things. What those things truly are, I really can’t tell you.

But as we get older and realize the importance of our family, we sometimes no longer have those people around who can help guide us and offer their perspectives. It is truly unfortunate.

That is one of the biggest things I have realized in becoming an adult. We need to appreciate the time we have with our parents and grandparents, as they can offer so much insight into our family history and what we are a part of. They also have the wisdom and experience to help us form our future selves as we embark on our careers.

Take advantage of opportunities offered

A great opportunity afforded to me was a career shadowing program in high school. The program matched students to professionals in an area of their interest where students would be able to experience a day in the life in that career field.

This proved extremely valuable for me as I shadowed an interior designer and an athletic trainer. While vastly different, both of those professions were very interesting to me. The day I spent shadowing someone in each of those professions allowed me so much insight into each occupation’s roles and responsibilities.

After much thought and consideration, I decided to pursue a career in nursing, as it offered me a healthcare focus, which always interested me. Those vague conversations with my grandma also played a part in my decision. Though she was gone, she still served as a guiding light.

Nursing school provides great benefits and opportunities to students, allowing them the ability to experience a wide variety of clinical settings prior to graduation. These experiences help plan career paths. Psychology was always an area of interest to me in college, so the mental health rotation was one of my favorites. In fact, I pursued that for many years as a nurse after graduation.

My nursing background allowed me to gain experience in a variety of settings including acute care, post-acute care and payer organizations, case management, behavioral health and chemical dependency. It’s also given me knowledge about the management of staff and processes like maintaining regulations and standards including gaining URAC accreditation and ISO quality assurance audits and accreditation.

All of these experiences – and the knowledge I gained along the way – have helped me in each of my roles. And it especially plays a significant part of my role as a business consultant for Hyland Healthcare.

Put it all to good use

Over the past 12 years at Hyland, I have been able to use my nursing knowledge and experience to help organizations improve processes, utilize best practices for improved outcomes and provide analysis of implemented solutions and processes.

I continue to utilize my nursing background on a daily basis. My experience helps me understand the needs of healthcare organizations and clinicians, as I have “walked in their shoes.” I support healthcare organizations by helping improve core processes, assisting with best practice recommendations during project implementations and providing return on investment analysis – thus enhancing the care and delivery of services provided to patients and their families.

I am still amazed at my career path, as I started out in nursing and now work for a software technology company. That is the beauty of nursing as a career: The possibilities are endless.

I am still a nurse and will always be a champion for patients and their families. That’s something that will never change. It’s also something my grandma would be very proud of.

Jill Grillo, R.N., C.C.M.

Jill Grillo has worked at Hyland for more than 12 years. Her current role is a Senior Healthcare Business Consultant, where she provides consultative services to organizations with the goal of improving existing processes in addition to reducing operating costs. Jill has been supporting customers and patients for more than 24 years with her vast healthcare knowledge and experience in the provider and payer sectors. Areas of specialization and focus include case management, post-acute care, behavioral health, chemical dependency and utilization management.  Jill’s experience as a Registered Nurse and Certified Case Manager allow her to provide professional, personalized, and comprehensive insights to match the unique needs of each healthcare organization she collaborates with to ensure their project goals and objectives are met. Her experience and knowledge also includes a focus on regulations and standards including gaining URAC accreditation and assisting with ISO quality assurance audits and accreditation. She continues to focus on the patient, by helping improve healthcare organization’s core processes and ensuring proper resource utilization, thus enhancing the care and delivery of services provided to patients and their families.
Jill Grillo
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Jill Grillo

Jill Grillo, R.N., C.C.M.

Jill Grillo has worked at Hyland for more than 12 years. Her current role is a Senior Healthcare Business Consultant, where she provides consultative services to organizations... read more about: Jill Grillo