Kristen Duncan has been with our ministry for nearly 15 years, serving patients as a nurse in the emergency department. Last month, Kristen transitioned to a new role within Bon Secours as the nurse director of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)/inpatient pediatrics at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital.
Get to know Kristen as she starts this new opportunity in this special Q&A.
Q: Please describe your roles at Bon Secours, both your old and new ones?
Kristen: I have proudly worked at Bon Secours since 2008 in the emergency department. I mostly have worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in the adult emergency department but also was the nurse director at Bon Secours Short Pump Emergency Center for the first three years it was open.
Most recently, I accepted a position as the nurse director of PICU/inpatient pediatrics and am thrilled to start this new opportunity.
Q: Describe some of your main responsibilities throughout a given day.
Kristen: I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the PICU/inpatient pediatrics unit. I coach and mentor staff, promote patient safety, assist with problems as they arise, educate and trial ways to operate more efficiently.
Q: What has motivated you to remain in the nursing profession after all these years?
Kristen: I love that every day is different with nursing. I am never bored and always learning.
Q: Back to your previous role with us, what is it like being part of the emergency department team?
Kristen: The emergency department team is a strong, resilient, smart group of clinicians full of grit. You have to always be prepared because you don’t know what is walking or riding through those doors. The emergency department never closes, so the staff are resourceful and problem solve in the moment to provide great care to all the individuals who come. These past two years, during the COVID-19 pandemic, have been the most challenging we have seen in our lifetime. Yet, the emergency department team comes with positive attitudes, ready to meet the needs of the patients they serve.
Q: How have you seen the faith-based aspect of our ministry lived out?
Kristen: I love hearing the daily prayers on the intercom. It is a helpful way to reset and focus on the ministry of Jesus Christ through those we serve.
Q: What aspects of your work environment do you find most helpful on tough days?
Kristen: Great teamwork makes the toughest days manageable!
Q: How do you feel Bon Secours has supported you as a nurse during your career as well as in your professional growth?
Kristen: I started at Bon Secours as an emergency department tech, wide-eyed, shy but ready to learn. I grew into a registered nurse, then preceptor, then charge RN. I was able to take leadership courses through the ministry and then became a clinical care leader. I then transitioned into a leadership position at Bon Secours Short Pump Emergency Center.
Tuition reimbursement and the Guild Education program funded my master’s degree 100 percent! Overall, Bon Secours has given me ample education opportunities and leadership experiences throughout my tenure. I also have appreciated the support of other Bon Secours leaders who have been mentors to me throughout my professional journey.
Q: What advice would you offer a new-to-practice nurse?
Kristen: Find something you love to do outside of work. When you have hard days, go do that thing to rejuvenate yourself. You can’t help others from an empty cup. Practicing self-care is vital for any career!
Read more stories about some of our amazing nurses.