Q&A with Chief Nursing Officer Yvonne Strader
May 04, 2015
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 Yvonne Strader, chief nursing officer of Providence Southeast Washington region. Read on to learn what inspired Yvonne to become a nurse and where she sees health care heading in the future.
Providence: What inspired you to become a nurse?
Yvonne Strader: My mother's work as a certified nursing assistant and a nurse who cared for me when I was in my teens inspired me. The nurse sat with me and explained things to me in words that I could understand — she treated me like a person who could actually understand what she was saying and told me what I needed to know.
Is there a patient you still think about?
I think about a 2-year-old patient who was too poor to get the care he needed. He was very ill and a frequent visitor to our unit. He never complained and loved hugs. I took care of him many nights and I remember rocking him to sleep, trying to make up for the fact that his mother could not be there. She had other children at home and worked two jobs. The family could not afford the travel costs to a larger hospital system for an experimental treatment at the time. His situation had a deep impact on me, and I think this is why the value of justice has such a profound meaning for me.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a CNO?
One of the biggest challenges for me is knowing what we need to do to keep our staff engaged and satisfied. They went into nursing for a reason — to help people. I want to be sure that they are taken care of as well.
What’s the most rewarding part of your career?
The most rewarding part of my career is watching new nurses grow, seeing experienced nurses learn new techniques they then teach to newer nurses, and knowing that patients recognize nurses for having made a difference. There is something very special about being a part of people's lives in their most intimate and vulnerable times. We, as nurses, share those special moments — some happy, some frightening, some sad.
Where do you see health care heading in the future?
Nursing is going to rock the health care world — we are sharp, innovative and driven. We are going to figure out how to use technology to keep our community healthier, safer and happier. We will find new ways to connect to patients, to track their progress. But one thing will not change: the love and compassion that we have for those in our care.