Have you ever thought about a major career change but not knowing how things would turn out in the end? While oblivion is guaranteed and hardships are inevitable in changing courses in your life, it is never too late to make something of yourself.
Meet Interim HealthCare employee, Connie Harris, who became a registered nurse thirty-four years after graduating high school. From working in manufacturing to a rewarding nursing career in home care, Connie was able to persevere and work hard to get to where she is at today.
In 1989, Connie graduated from Northwestern High School and started working in a plastics shop. She eventually worked her way up from a packer to setup to troubleshooter to foreman. Due to manufacturing in Erie getting slow, she continuously got laid off. As a “workaholic”, Connie decided to work part-time, at the time of her lay-off, to stay busy. Little did she know, this would change the path of her entire life.
For her part-time job, Connie worked as a caregiver with Voices for Independence and a certain client changed her life forever. With Stage 4 pressure ulcers on each hip, her client was always grateful whenever she showed up for work.
I had a chance to talk to the home care nurse who came to do his wound care and she told me how I could go to college for a year and be a nurse. I could not wait. I realized I could make a positive impact in the world, and it meant something.Connie Harris, Interview with Career Street (2023)
Connie decided to get another job, as a foreman, to save money for school. Over the next three years, Connie would pay off all of her credit card bills and car, quit her foreman job, and go to nursing school. With a daughter entering middle school and working part-time as an aide in the ICU to make ends meet, it was an overwhelming time for Connie.
“I remember it broke my heart when my daughter asked me, ‘Mom, when are you going to work MY shift?’ I felt so bad but I knew this was what I needed to do and my daughter did too.”
After graduating from Mercyhurst School of Nursing for her LPN in 2004, Connie worked at HealthSouth, which is now Encompass Rehabilitation Center. She worked there for the next five years to get experience she needed. By then, Connie set her eyes on receiving her RN.
In 2010, Connie earned her RN at Mercyhurst University and was a professional tutor for Mercyhurst while working full time night shift at Golden Living Center. A year later, she moved into the Wound Nurse Position and got Wound Care Certified.
It was at Golden Living where I met Mary Beth Lombardi, who asked me if I every thought about home care nursing. She presented to me that if I worked for Interim HealthCare, I could care for the same patients I had at Golden Living AFTER they go home. I thought that was a great idea and applied.Connie Harris, Interview with Career Street (2023)
With great expectations, Interim HealthCare hired Connie while she was on crutches with both casts on her feet in 2014. “Working for Interim HealthCare has been the best decision of my life,” says Connie. Today, Connie still works at Interim HealthCare as an RN Field Nurse. In May 2023, she will celebrate her nine years at Interim HealthCare!
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Interim HealthCare employee, Connie Harris, RN, Wound Care Certified, interviews with Career Street how her major career change led to new rewards.
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