Amanda Rutledge, RN, BSN, MSN-BC, grew up thinking she would become a physician. That is, until a volunteer experience during college changed her perspective about patient care.
As a student in the pre-med program at Christopher Newport University, Amanda volunteered on the labor and delivery unit and medical-surgical (“med-surg”) unit at a local hospital.
Although her volunteer work was not medical in nature, it gave her the chance to observe the way hospitals provide care. It was then that she realized she didn’t want to be the doctor on those units — she would rather be the nurse.
“They were the ones spending time with the patients,” Amanda explains. “I switched tracks, finished my degree at CNU and started nursing school.”
While at Southside Regional Medical Center’s School of Nursing, she did her clinical rotations at the hospital. Upon graduation, she joined Bon Secours Southside Regional Medical Center permanently as an RN on the med-surg unit. She has since earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and is pursuing her master’s degree in nursing leadership and management.
A recent award has helped affirm her career choice. Amanda has been named a 2020 Star Nurse, an award introduced this year by the American Nurses Association in partnership with the Washington Post.
The Star Nurses program was created this year — the Year of the Nurse — to honor the women and men at the front lines of health care in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. As a 2020 Star Nurse, Amanda is a finalist for one of six Nightingale Awards to be announced in September.
“I was really excited,” Amanda says of learning about the Star Nurse award. It’s always nice for medical professionals to have their hard work acknowledged, especially during a challenge like the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, she continues to focus on being a team player to make sure the unit’s patients all get what they need.
“We’re just trying to take good care of our patients,” she says.
Read more stories that celebrate our amazing Bon Secours nurses.