For National Nurses Week, we are honoring the contributions and sacrifices made by all nurses in the medical community who are instrumental in enhancing the health of their patients. Nurses are the healthcare professionals who perform some of the most challenging and essential healthcare tasks and serve as the first and last point of contact for most patients as well as being a crucial link between patients and doctors. Nurses have a versatile career with dozens of specialties that require extreme focus and dedication. We’re spotlighting two of Magellan Health’s nurses who each explain why they chose to become nurses, and who describe what are some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of working in this field:

  • Tracy McClain, RN, BSN, Care Coordinator, Employer Center of Excellence
  • Jacqueline Rigby Siomos, RN, senior care manager, Cambria County Clinical

Continue reading to learn more from Jacqueline and Tracy on their experience as nurses:

Why did you become a nurse and what are the most rewarding aspects of working in this field?

Jacqueline: I really wanted to help people and becoming a nurse was the best fit for me. I knew nursing had a lot of different opportunities available and I would always be guaranteed to have a fulfilling career. I enjoy that I learn something new each day, whether it’s a new medication, a new treatment modality, or a new data system.

Tracy: I always knew since a very young age that I wanted to work in a career that allows me to help people. Helping and supporting people in their time of need by bringing them care, comfort, and compassion does as much for me as it does the people I help.

What are some challenges you face being a nurse? How do you overcome those challenges?

Jacqueline: One of the biggest challenges is stress and burnout. It is very important to have healthy self-care rituals to be refreshed and rejuvenated for the next workday. You must commit to be a lifelong learner if you want to be a nurse since healthcare is an ever-changing field. 

Tracy: Not being able to help or make a positive difference in someone’s life, but I just always remind myself that I can’t save the whole world, so I stay focused on the people I can impact and never give up on anyone.

Is there anything you’d like to highlight about working in this field and National Nurses Week?

Jacqueline: Nursing is a challenging field, but the rewards of helping others outweigh all the challenges. I have always been blessed to work with a wonderful group of nurses and other professionals who always make the workday go smoothly. The nursing profession offers tremendous amounts of flexibility in scheduling, clinical specialties, and employment locations. Celebrating National Nurses Week is a great way to recognize the hard work and dedication of all my colleagues in the field. We are all in this together.

Tracy: Working in this field and with my team at Magellan has helped me gain knowledge and grow as a person. I have worked here for 25 years and can honestly say I am a more patient, compassionate, and educated nurse. It’s nice to know that nurses are being recognized for what they do and made to feel proud of being a nurse, especially when burn out tends to be high in this field.