Jan has an impressive list of accomplishments, especially for a nurse close to the beginning of her career: She is a co-chair of her unit professional council, a mentor for new graduate nurses, a unit preceptor, a champion of the penicillin allergy de-labeling initiative. She is on multiple workgroups and has presented a poster at the UCLA Nursing Science and Innovation Conference. But her real superpower is in her relationships with patients.   

Jan treats her assessments as opportunities to listen: What does this patient need and want that day? She builds relationships by listening first, helping patients feel comfortable talking to her about anything from the sensitive to the routine. She might discover that a patient would like food that would minimize gas, or that someone really wants to get up for a walk, but will need a gait belt. When there’s a need for a change of plan, she is flexible, listening deeply to what a patient says and also communicating honestly with her managers. Relationships in the hospital are often complex, sometimes difficult, and she is even adept at setting limits with patients who become disruptive, helping to keep everyone safe and comfortable. Because she behaves in such an open and trust-worthy way, patients trust her, and both care and workflow improves. This talent for genuine human connection suggests a maturity far beyond her years, and one that can’t be taught.  

To bring her colleagues closer together, and to recognize their accomplishments, Jan created a newsletter that goes out to the whole unit. It celebrates team members and creates a sense of community and belonging. That building of connection is an overarching theme in Jan’s nursing practice.