Monica Humphrey, RN, Earns Elite Certification in Geriatrics

Three Pillars nurse Monica Humphrey, RN
Monica Humphrey, BS RN-BC, is Three Pillars’ first and only Geriatric Board Certified Registered Nurse.

It was 2011, and Monica Humphrey, now Three Pillars’ first and only Geriatric Board Certified Registered Nurse, had just graduated from Edgewood College with her BS in Nursing. She spent a year expanding her growing agribusiness on her family farm and caring for her aging grandparents. By 2013, she decided the time was right to seek out a career in the nursing field. With aspirations of growing into a full-time role, she began work at Three Pillars’ Health Care Center, spending the majority of her shifts in the long-term care skilled nursing area and some in Hickory Suites short-term rehabilitation. In addition, she worked on the med-surg unit of nearby Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital.

Monica had always been close with her own grandparents, so she was naturally drawn to working with older adults. She found the work at the skilled nursing center fulfilling and humbling, and in 2017, when a full-time PM Nurse Supervisor position opened at Three Pillars’ Compass Point Catered Assisted Living community, she went for the opportunity. Now in the role about two years, she’s grateful for her job and enjoys the work.

“I really enjoy working with older adults, no matter the environment, but I’ve loved working at an assisted living facility. With many of the residents having generally high cognitive capabilities, there’s an opportunity to really connect with people here. I love spending time with them, and I get to treat them like I would my own grandparents,” Monica says.

As a Nurse Supervisor, every day could be different for her. Whether she’s entering physician’s orders, working on resident care plans, following up on labs, or even working on the floor, Monica’s heart is in her work.

“In all the time I spent with my grandparents – caring for them, taking them to appointments – plus my work in the long-term care field, my appreciation and respect for this population has only grown. It’s also become very clear to me how much ageism exists, and how many misunderstandings exist when it comes to older adults.”

Ever the advocate, Monica sought to continue her education and learn more to further focus on the population she cares so much about. She sought additional knowledge so she could better serve them at Three Pillars, and aspired to enlighten co-workers, as well.

With financial sponsorship and 100% support from Three Pillars, Monica began her journey to become Board Certified in geriatrics. Over approximately four months, she delved into her required 30 hours of continuing education through an online AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course at University of Nebraska Medical Center. After lots of reading, poring over case studies, and completing online modules on an independent basis, she completed the course and was recognized for her commitment to the highest standards of geriatric nursing. Having surpassed the requirement of providing 2,000 hours of care in the field, Monica was ready to sit for “the boards” – her Board Certification exam. At the end of April, she was officially board certified: Monica Humphrey, BSN, RN-BC.

Board certification is the gold standard in clinical nursing practice at the RN level, and only 1% of the nation’s 2.2 million RNs have a gerontological certification. Data shows that healthcare facilities with board certified RNs on staff see increased quality of care, decreased fall rates, lower re-hospitalization rates, and better policies in place. Now, Monica’s proud to bring that benefit to Three Pillars’ residents.

“I’m so grateful to Three Pillars for supporting my continued education. After completing this journey, it makes me wish every nurse would do the same. There’s so much to know about older adults, and the more informed we are, the more we can enrich their lives and the care they receive. I’m very excited to bring that enhanced quality of care to our residents here – they deserve it,” Monica says.

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