A Journey of Growth: Peter Nash’s Story
Peter Nash, BSN, RN, CCRN, shares his Shepherd Center story, from food service assistant to registered nurse (RN) in the ICU.
How long have you worked at Shepherd Center
I’ve been at Shepherd Center for 13 years. I actually started as a food service assistant and worked my way up as a patient care technician (PCT), a registered nurse (RN) in the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, a nurse educator from 2018-2019, and now I’m an RN in the ICU.
Why did you choose to work at Shepherd Center in the ICU?
I came across Shepherd Center unexpectedly. Prior to nursing, my work experience consisted primarily of the restaurant and food service industry. While in nursing school, I was looking for a job to bridge my restaurant experience into healthcare. I had never heard of Shepherd Center before, but during a web search, I found a job as a food service assistant at Shepherd. I applied, interviewed, and was offered the job. As I approached graduation from nursing school, it was natural to transition my role to a PCT and later an RN at Shepherd. I didn’t apply anywhere else. The workplace culture was so well ingrained in positivity, friendliness, and collaboration; it was an easy decision.
I chose ICU after working as a spinal cord injury rehabilitation nurse for three years because I wanted to treat higher acuity patients with more complex disease processes. I enjoy medical complexity and being able to see the immediate results of your interventions. In the ICU, you need to be sharp and on top of things for the sake of your patients. Additionally, ICU nurses use a lot of technical skills and get the opportunity to practice toward the top of their scope of practice, which further drew me to the specialty.
What has been your best day at work?
Well, I met my wife at Shepherd. She’s a nurse as well and used to work here. I’d probably have to say that was my best day at Shepherd. Aside from that, it’s always an awesome thing to see patients come back after their hospitalization and share how they’re doing. Especially from the ICU vantage point, where we often see them in some of their most dire situations after their injuries, being able to celebrate their successes with them is a wonderful thing to be a part of.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to go into nursing?
Preparing for nursing school, going through nursing school, and working as a nurse can all be challenging, but the rewards are worth it. Nursing has opened many doors for me, both professionally and personally. If you're considering nursing, take the time to research the field and the various career paths available. With hard work and critical thinking skills, you can excel in this rewarding profession.
Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. Ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals for rehabilitation and the best in the Southeast, Shepherd Center treats more than 850 inpatients and 7,600 outpatients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.