I knew that I wanted to be a surgery nurse

Anne Wendling

“When I was six years old I had to have surgery. Since then, it was never a question – I knew that I wanted to be a surgery nurse,” explained Anne Wendling, BSN, RN. And that’s exactly what she did!  Starting as a phlebotomist in 1990, she has worked in several different departments and roles, including staff nurse, charge nurse, clinical coordinator, practice manager, nurse manager and currently nurse director of perioperative services at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.

What makes Anne want to continue her career at Bronson after all these years?
She said it is the supportive environment, as well as the interest her leaders always had in helping her grow. “The environment we create for both our patients and employees is what really makes Bronson stand out,” Anne explained. “We’re a big organization, but it still feels personal. I started working here when I was 19 years old and it felt like people would take me under their wing and help me out – even people who didn’t work in my department.” When she was working as a clinical coordinator, her director Patty recognized that she had an interest in administrative projects, so she gave Anne opportunities to work on business-related projects in addition to her clinical responsibilities. “This helped provide me the experience needed to become a practice manager, nurse manager and now interim nurse director” she said.

Continuing your education is encouraged at Bronson.
Going back to school while working is a big commitment. Having benefits like tuition reimbursement, flexible hours and supportive leadership has helped make it more manageable for employees like Anne. “It’s also nice that I was able to do clinical rotation for my BSN degree, and now for my MSN degree, right here at Bronson,” she said.

“Take it one step at a time.”
Anne’s advice for anyone looking to go back to school or working toward a new job? “Take it one step at a time. Whether you’re a surgery tech or a medical assistant looking to advance your career, a new nurse just getting out of school, or just looking for new opportunities, don’t look at the big picture … that can get overwhelming. Instead, take it piece by piece,” Anne said. “Take one class, master a new skill, then work your way up.”

Do you want to start a nursing career at Bronson?
We’re hiring!  Our healthcare system is comprised of more than 70 locations, including four hospitals, in southwest and south central Michigan. With nearly 846 licensed beds and approximately 2,000 nurses throughout the hospitals, we are committed to working together to provide excellent healthcare. Our values of integrity, patient and family centered care, teamwork, evidence-driven improvement, education and community commitment guide us. To learn more or apply, visit bronsonhealth.com/careers. This is your career, where will you take it?

TAGS: Careers, Nursing