Josh Hendricks | Charge Nurse, Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, Spectrum Health

Josh Hendricks | Charge Nurse, Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, Spectrum Health

Year of the Nurse Scholarship Recipient

Josh Hendricks grew up around his grandmother, who became a Registered Nurse in her 50s. But the native of Allendale, Michigan, didn’t seriously think about pursuing healthcare himself until later in life—after he had started college, travelled, worked for several years, and finally graduated from Kuyper College with a Bachelor of Science in Intercultural Studies. 

“I was home schooled all through high school and did two years of college, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at that time,” says Josh. Without a specific career in mind, he decided to spend some time travelling the world. He also met and married his wife, started a family and started working in floor maintenance at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. 

Back to school in 2013

Being in the hospital environment reminded Josh of his grandmother, and he became a sterile processing technician in 2011. In 2013, Josh started an Associate Degree of Nursing program at Grand Rapids Community College. By then, he was a father of four, and Spectrum’s tuition assistance made pursuing his education dream possible. “I graduated in 2015 and started as a nurse on the oncology floor and really enjoyed it,” Josh says. In 2016, Josh became a charge nurse in the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant unit. 

Involved and motivated to learn and grow

At Spectrum, Josh got involved in anything he could—as a Skin Champion, High Reliability Team Founder and Unit-Based Shared Leadership Chair. Those experiences exposed him to healthcare leaders and others he came to admire, and Josh became motivated to arm himself with the credentials and skills to advance.

“The BSN was encouraged by Spectrum and something already on my radar,” he says. Josh started the BSN at a local university but the in-person structure didn’t work for his busy schedule, so he attended a webinar to learn about online BSN options and discovered American Sentinel University. 

“The partnership between Spectrum and American Sentinel just made everything smooth and seamless,” Josh says. He began his BSN course work in 2019, with an eye on the future—and an MSN in Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership. “I was getting excited about things at work and advanced education seems like a good idea to open those doors for myself down the road.” In August 2020, Josh was promoted to a supervisor position in outpatient oncology infusion. “I love the inpatient space, but I’d love to combine hands-on nursing with leadership.”  

Year of the Nurse Scholarship 

This summer, Josh and his wife purchased their first home, and money has been tight. “I was actually looking at stopping school and restarting in early 2021 when I learned that I had received the Year of the Nurse Scholarship I’d applied for,” he says. “The scholarship allowed me to take classes this year so I can finish by next summer. But in addition to that, it is a form of recognition, which is a great feeling. This is an organization that’s investing in me and it means so much to me.” 

Planning his future

In five years, Josh says he hopes he will be in a nursing management position. “I’m excited about having a level of education that is comparable to the peers I look up to,” Josh says. “The education and experience at American Sentinel have been excellent, but there’s also the pride that comes with earning it. I’ll be able to stand proudly and say, ‘I have a master’s degree.’”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” and American Sentinel is celebrating by offering a Year of the Nurse Scholarship. Five scholarships are awarded per quarter in 2020. Congratulations to this quarter’s recipients. Learn more and apply here

Learn what American Sentinel has to offer:

Let us answer any questions you have. Fill out the form below, and we will be in touch quickly.

Mike Widmann | Clinical Informatics Coordinator, Excela Health, Westmoreland Hospital
Heather Balmer | Charge Nurse, Liberty Commons Rehabilitation Center