From the front office to the front lines of care
Have you ever felt like you finally found “home” in your career? Like you know you’re where you’re supposed to be as you live out your calling? It’s an aspiration many strive toward, and something that Billie Morris, BSN, RN, Ascension Sacred Heart, feels she has finally attained. It took 10 years of hard work, long hours and a supportive Ascension team to make it a reality.
Nearly a decade ago, Billie was looking for a career move to help support herself and her family. She learned of a nine-month certification program for front office work, and decided to give it a go. When she completed it, Ascension Sacred Heart – part of Ascension Florida and Gulf Coast – offered her a front office position, although she could already tell she enjoyed interaction with patients even more. With help from a Float Pool Manager, Danielle Konrad, and additional training, Billie soon moved from her front office position to a medical assistant role. That led to a permanent position where she was able to work full time and pursue a nursing degree at night. Several other Ascension Sacred Heart co-workers supported Billie as she pursued her degree in healthcare.
"It's evident that Ascension invests in its associates,” Billie said. “Ascension Sacred Heart made it very affordable to go back to get my degree, and my manager worked with my schedule to make sure I could continue to work and go to school.”
As Billie worked toward her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she simaltaneously got to know many of the nurses and providers she would work with after she completed her degree.
"The nurses were familiar with me and would vouch for me as a peer-to-peer,” she said.
Curiosity about all the foot wound patients Matthew Cummins, MD, treated on her floor of the hospital would lead Billie to her current role as a nurse in the Orthopedics Podiatry Department. A constant learner, Billie already has plans to pursue a certification in wound care to help Dr. Cummins with the workload.
“I’ve made a lot of moves in the 10 years I’ve been with Ascension Sacred Heart, and every time it’s been a good experience,” Billie said. “My managers and physicians were always very supportive — encouraging me to learn more and try something new. Each one helped make the transition as smooth as possible.”
“And now, 10 years later, I think I’ve found ‘home,’” Billie said. “To quote Ghandi, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’”
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Photo: Billie Morris, BSN, RN, Ascension Sacred Heart Orthopedics Podiatry Department