If you ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up, you often get a variety of answers: teacher, astronaut, president, the list goes on and on. But for Chelsey Ross (pictured above, right), there has only ever been one answer: a health care worker.
“What piqued my interest in health care initially was both my brothers were NICU patients,” Chelsey shares. “I always wanted to work as a nurse or certified nursing assistant or something in the medical field.”
To get her foot in the door, Chelsey took the first job she could find – hospital housekeeper. The job only cemented her desire to do more.
“I was working at St. Francis Eastside on the floor where they had moved the oncology patients during COVID-19, and I just fell in love with them,” she recalls. “A lot of those patients you’d never know by their spirits what they’re going through because they have a smile on their faces most of the time. Plus, the nurses were very focused on their patients and invested in their wellbeing, and I knew I wanted to be around those kinds of people.”
It wouldn’t be long before Chelsey got the opportunity she was looking for – an email from Bon Secours inviting her to take advantage of our ministry’s Guild Education Program.
“Bon Secours is a unique industry leader that is demonstrating its commitment to associates,” Yolanda Johnson (pictured above, left), our chief market human resources strategic partner for Bon Secours St. Francis, says. “Chelsey took advantage of our amazing education benefit to further her patient care calling. I was moved during associate rounding to talk with Chelsey and hear her amazing growth story within our ministry.”
The partnership with the Guild pays 100 percent of our team members’ tuition and fees for select clinical pathways and includes tuition assistance and reimbursement for 115 academic programs as well as undergraduate, graduate and nursing degrees.
“It meant a lot to me that Bon Secours was reaching out to me about going back to school and showing me the programs I needed to do, the steps I needed to take,” Chelsey adds. “It was all very easy.”
In fact, Chelsey says her housekeeping job and the time she’d already spent in the hospital gave her a leg up when it came to her studies.
“Going in the rooms, you kind of pick up on things the nurses are doing and see things and hear things,” she explains. “It made it a lot easier learning stuff because whenever I started the classes for medical assistant, I already had a basis because I’d heard about it working in the hospital.”
In less than a year’s time, Chelsey had completed her coursework, passed her exams and was beginning to apply for jobs. In the end, she’d end up with her dream role – a certified medical assistant working at the St. Francis Cancer Center.
“I love it! I couldn’t ask for better people to work with or for better patients.”
She’s not done yet, though. While she’s only a few months into her current role, Chelsey is already making plans to go back to school again for her nursing degree.
“Bon Secours in actively making investments that reinforce our commitment to provide pathways for career growth,” Yolanda adds. “It is our desire to see everyone on our team reach their highest potential. I encourage associates to talk with their manager and HR about ways they can utilize our education benefit to further their career in health care!”
Starting day one of employment with our ministry, team members can access education benefits program through our Guild Education Program. There are different options including full tuition assistance, standard tuition assistance and tuition reimbursement.