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Career Path: From ED Transporter to Nurse Manager (Podcast)

Determination, preparation and education opened up opportunities in one nurse’s chosen specialty

From the time Angie Czechowski, MSN, RN, began her healthcare career as a transporter in an emergency department in Illinois, she knew she wanted to become an ED nurse.

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“It was a huge experience from the get-go, seeing the nurses perform,” she recalls. “Their role motivated me and kind of reassured me that this is my aspiration.”

Today, Czechowski is nurse manager of the emergency department at Cleveland Clinic’s newly opened Mentor Hospital. In the latest episode of the Nurse Essentials podcast, she discusses her career trajectory and delves into:

  • The importance of finding mentors and precepting others
  • The path from associate degree to BSN and MSN
  • Preparation for becoming a nurse manager
  • How to discern when it’s time to pursue a new role
  • How to handle – and grow from – professional rejections

Click the podcast player above to listen to the episode now, or read on for a short edited excerpt. Check out more Nurse Essentials episodes at my.clevelandclinic.org/podcasts/nurse-essentials or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Podcast excerpt

Podcast host Carol Pehotsky, DNP, RN, NEA-BC: Sometimes I think nurses think, "Well, I'll just go back to school, and then the opportunities will present themselves." … What advice would you give for somebody to do some self-reflection to know the next course to take?

Czechowski: Definitely do some research. There's such a pool of opportunities to see what skills and what opportunities, classes, courses are available – what benefits are available to help support that or kind of break down the barriers to getting there.

It looks like a very long journey. But look at things just a little bit of it at a time. You don't have to see the one-year, two-year program. You look at this week: "What do I need to accomplish this week?" And you will get to that end goal.

Putting yourself within mentors – finding a mentorship or even people within that role that you're actually aspiring to be. And kind of getting guidance I think is really supportive – keeping focused and keeping you on track to get to where you want to be.

Pehotsky: And mentors love working with people who are eager and interested.

Czechowski: Absolutely! Anytime there's a student or shadowing experience, that passion, you can sense it, you feel it. … You see it, you want to be a part of it.

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