Joyce Norman, BSN, RN, CWOCN, DAPWCA, and Clinical Education Specialist was recently named to Tucson Nurses Week Foundation’s prestigious list of Fabulous 50 Nurses. She has 25 years’ experience in a hospital setting and is an active leader in her community. Having been nominated by her peers, Norman is the first RN working for an industry healthcare provider to be honored.
Why did you get into nursing?
Nursing was always something that interested me from when I was very young and looked after my mother. After starting at university in the business school, I quickly switched to nursing and have been doing that for 40 years.
Tell us a little about your career and how you’re now serving the nursing community through Medline.
I started my nursing career working in general surgery units. My original specialty was urology. I attended a seminar taught by Yvonne Fowler and became interested in skin care and continence care that led me to becoming a certified wound, ostomy and continence nurse specialist (CWOCN). I find wound care to be one of the most fun things we do in healthcare. It is a specialty that is always changing, never stagnant; it is one area of nursing where you can visually see improvement and changes in a patient’s quality of life. In other areas of nursing such as the OR (operating room), you don’t necessarily talk to the patient and they’re gone after surgery and you’re wondering what happened to them. Through wound care nursing, you see people get better and help rehab them so they can get back to normal function. It’s very rewarding.
If you would have told me years ago that I would be working in industry I would’ve said “no way.” But I’ve been blessed in my career that I haven’t looked for a job in over 30 years. At Medline, I’m able to educate clinicians in all sectors of healthcare while staying up to date on best practices in the field. I see myself as a mentor. Because this is a very unique degree, I always try to show nurses different opportunities and specialties within the field they might not have known were possible.
I am an active member of the Tucson affiliate of the WOCN Society.
You’re the first RN working for an Industry Healthcare Provider in Tucson Nurses Week Foundation history to be selected for its Fabulous Fifty Nurses Award. What does that mean to you?
It’s an honor for me. Having been nominated by my peers at the Tucson affiliate of WOCN Society speaks volumes to how they respect and see me as a community resource who mentors and volunteers to perpetuate our organization and the field of nursing.
How have you been able to achieve and sustain your success throughout your career?
To me, if you find what you love your job will not be work; it’ll be your passion.
What do you think are some of the challenges nurses face to perform at the top of their license?
Some challenges nurses face are self-inflicted, especially burn-out. It is important to take care of yourself and take time to be with your friends and family – really find a balance. This is a real challenged I’ve faced. I travel almost every week and sometimes the last thing I want to do when I get home from a trip is go out with my family. But, I realize that is something my family enjoys doing.
You have to find that balance and figure out what makes you happy. People get comfortable and can find themselves in a rut always working on one thing. Find what you like because with that one nursing degree, you can work anywhere in healthcare. You could find yourself taking care of newborns to helping with end of life care and even working in industry.
Norman and the other recipients were honored at the 2016 Nurses Week Gala on May 7 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson. Follow our conversation on social media this National Nurses Week with #NNW2016.