One look at Georgiana Goddard’s resume and it’s clear that continuous education is important to this longtime nurse. With a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees already under her belt, the native of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago says that education is something that was instilled in her from a young age.
Next stop: New York City
Straight from high school, Georgiana earned her nursing diploma in England, followed by a diploma in midwifery. She returned to Trinidad to work as a midwife and nurse in a variety of clinical settings, but an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself in 1992.
“I was recruited by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, at a time when there was a great deal of recruitment by U.S. hospitals,” says Georgiana. She joined the tertiary care teaching hospital that year, excited about the opportunity to work for one of the nation’s leading research hospitals, which serves one of the most diverse patient populations in the world. Georgiana worked in the operating room for seven years. While at Mount Sinai, she earned the BSN at Pace University, which allowed her to move up to clinical nurse supervisor in 1999.
Joining North Shore University Hospital
After a move to Long Island, the commute to the city wore on Georgiana, so she explored opportunities closer to home at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, an 806-bed teaching hospital and level 1 trauma center. She joined the staff in 2001 as a nurse manager, working in the operating room. While there, it became evident how dramatically and quickly healthcare was changing.
“I serve on a leadership team that deals with staffing, budgets and even finding ways to be more efficient,” she says. “I felt I needed to go back to school to understand how to manage my department better, to really grasp the business side of healthcare management. Georgiana earned a dual Executive MBA and Master of Science in Health Administration from St. Joseph’s College in 2006.
A passion for teaching others
Over the years, training and education became an important part of Georgiana’s job. “I absolutely love teaching staff, whether I’m giving a presentation or attending an educational training session,” she says. That excitement turned into a career interest, and in 2015, Georgiana decided to pursue the MSN. She explored online universities with nursing education specializations and was pleased to find American Sentinel recommended by North Shore and the Association of Operating Room Nurses, of which she is an active member. Georgiana enrolled in the MSN, nursing education specialization.
While Georgiana has accumulated a long list of credentials, she says she isn’t interested in education to boost her resume. “To me, the most important thing is the learning,” she says. “To me, continuing to gain new knowledge is joy.”
A new job, a new spark for learning
Her excitement about her job and educating other nurses even translated into a job opportunity at North Shore, now Northwell Health. Knowing her interest in education, Georgiana’s senior director recommended her for the educator position as the department needed another educator for the evening shift. She interviewed and got the job in May 2015. Georgiana participates in all orientation, education and training for the nursing staff in the operating room at the Manhasset campus. “I love the job and I’m excited about it,” she says. “The goal here at Northwell is patient safety. Educating our staff is the best way to achieve this outcome.”
Late this year, Georgiana will complete her third master’s degree: the MSN, nursing education specialization. “I’m learning so much and having fun,” she says. In her new position at work, unsurprisingly, she encourages younger nurses to pursue their education too. “One thing I love is helping other nurses. One of the best ways I can give back is to encourage them to reach their true potential by pursuing higher education. I believe that’s essential to success.”
Inspired by Georgiana’s story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like nursing education, informatics, nursing management and organizational leadership, or infection control. Specialized knowledge forms the foundation of these nursing fields. When you acquire new knowledge, you can apply it to nursing practice in ways that enhance patient care and improve outcomes.