Westminster Communities of Florida is so proud of all of our nurses, who work in dedication to our residents. We’re fortunate to have 223 Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses who work in our communities, caring for residents in assisted living and the Health Center and providing health services to independent-living residents.
Nurses are the living embodiment of our Mission of service, as stated in the letter of thanks by COO Garry Hennis. We often say that at the heart of our Mission is a mission of the heart, and the dedicated team members who provide direct care to our residents are at its center.
This week, for National Nurses Week, we’re celebrating their service and learning more about these dedicated nurses. What motivates them about nursing, and why do they love serving the residents of Westminster Communities of Florida?
“It’s all about the residents and being able to have a moment with the residents,” said Kim Pagana, director of nursing at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek in Jacksonville. “They have lived such long, experienced lives, and we have so much to learn from them!”
Pagana, who has been at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek since 2014, realized early on that caring for seniors is her real passion in nursing. She’s been a nurse for nearly 25 years and has worked in long-term care for 19 years. Her aim as the leader of a team of nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants is to always put our residents first — it’s even in our Mission statement. “The Mission creates a different sense of culture: Our mindset isn’t the bottom line – it’s about what’s best for the resident,” she said.
The best part of long-term care, according to Pagana, is that you get to form a relationship with the residents. “They become like your family, your parents or grandparents. You don’t see that in a hospital or a physician’s office or any kind of outpatient setting,” Pagana said. “It is very rewarding.”
“This work is very much about the residents and being able to have a moment with the residents. In other areas of nursing, you don’t get a chance to form those relationships and to make such a difference in a resident’s or a patient’s life. If you think this sounds good to you, you should try it!”
Westminster Woods on Julington Creek has planned a fantastic week of celebration for National Nurses Week as a way of saying thank-you — Pagana is even going to spend some time in the dunk tank! “I try to really show our staff how appreciative I am for their service, and appreciative the residents, family members and staff all are for what they do for us and in supporting each other,” she said.
Learn more about why our nurses love serving the Mission this week as we share more of their stories. Are you interested in joining the Westminster team? Find out more — go to www.WestminsterCommunitiesFL.org/careers!