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QA with Michelle James

May 05, 2015

Michelle James_SW RegionQ&A with Chief Nursing Officer Michelle James

During National Nurses Week and throughout the year, we are proud to celebrate our nurses for their compassion and dedication. We are thankful for our wonderful team, including Michelle James, chief nursing officer of Providence Southwest Washington region. Read on to learn what inspired Michelle to become a nurse and if there’s a patient she still thinks about.

Providence: What inspired you to become a nurse?

Michelle James: My mother is a nurse and she was so talented in caring for the elderly. She is 81 years old and still maintains her RN license. She is my ongoing inspiration. 

Is there a patient you still think about?

Clint is a man I cared for in the ICU many years ago. He had cancer and I had the opportunity to form a bond with Clint and his family. One evening he was in such pain, and I asked him what I could do to make him more comfortable. He said, “I could use a beer.” The next shift I brought him a can of beer. He laughed until he cried. It was a small thing that made him feel normal. It was such a privilege to care for Clint and be with him at his death. It was beautiful. 

What’s the best part of your job? 

I love the people, the staff, my peers, and our patients and families. When I need a reminder of why I became a nurse, I round on patients and staff. Rounding grounds me and brings me joy.

What has been your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

I was a part of designing a new medical center that promoted a healing environment for our caregivers and the community.

What’s the most rewarding part of your career?

I believe nursing is privileged work. I have been allowed into people’s lives during very intimate and stressful times. I feel blessed to have been called to the profession of nursing.