Nurtured by a growing need to educate and care for patients with a variety of chronic medical conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, the job market looks promising for registered nurses (RNs) in the Los Angeles area. The government expects to see nearly 527,000 additional nurses to have secured gainful employment nationwide by 2022. This anticipated growth rate represents a 19 percent spike in the number of professionals that were providing and coordinating patient care in 2012.

(Photo Courtesy of Jonell A. Ksiazkiewicz)

(Photo Courtesy of Jonell A. Ksiazkiewicz)

For Jonell A. Ksiazkiewicz, diving into the nursing profession was a predetermined endeavor.

“I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field. My mother and grandmother worked at a hospital, so I grew up in that environment. I have always had a passion to help people,” said Ksiazkiewicz, a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. “Ever since I shadowed a nurse in high school and saw how intense, yet satisfying their jobs are, I knew it was a career path I wanted to pursue.”

What was your career path?

“I started as an RN in Pittsburgh, and then became a travel nurse. As a travel nurse, I was able to work in different hospitals and within various special units, where I gained skills that have shaped me into the nurse I am today. That’s how I landed at this facility. They asked me to stay, and I did. It’s nice to have a home base again.”

In addition to your bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, what else have you earned?

“I have basic life support and advanced care life support certificates and am certified by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. I am also training to become an acute care geriatric registered nurse.”

What is your message to aspiring registered nurses?

“I highly recommend shadowing as a way to get a feel for the profession. There are so many different routes one can take with nursing that allow for a lot of movement and flexibility. The satisfaction we get from our jobs, in having the ability to touch so many people’s lives and having them touch ours, is truly priceless.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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