Giving Nurses a Voice: Heather Schimmers

What is something you wish every nurse could know no matter the organization?

“If there has ever been a time for you to step up to be innovative and thought leaders, now is the time.  Make a difference, make a change, be a part of the solution.” – Heather Schimmers

Introducing Heather Schimmers, Chief Nursing Officer for Ascension Wisconsin, to the Sponge Show.  Heather and Brad sat down to discuss their love of red wine, the changes happening in healthcare today, and why it’s now or never to be innovative and to step up to be a part of the solution in any organization, healthcare especially.

Did you know that during an average healthcare journey, over 60% of the time you’re spending is with a Registered Nurse?

As Chief Nursing Officer for Ascension, Heather takes on quite the role for the state of Wisconsin.

She is making it her responsibility to make sure all nurses have a voice and that they use it.  By helping nurses understand and acclimate to the changing environment by voices their concerns, their perspective, or what they’re going through – she’s offering them an ear to listen.  

“It only takes a couple of minutes to let someone be heard.”

She is on a mission to help nurses get back to their roots of why they started this career in the first place.  Why did they choose this journey? She hopes to dig back into why they do what they do in order to find the joy in their practice amidst the changes happening in the healthcare industry today.

“I’m excited about the way our industry is changing.  Telehealth is becoming more prevalent, and our organization is bringing more options to the table that is in a forward-thinking way.  We, at Ascension, put huge importance on keeping people well at the forefront. We are making a shift in keeping people well instead of only treating them if they are sick.”

Heather finds awe in what nurses do and patience, care, and time they take every day in order for their patients to feel appreciated and valued.  And that is something she hopes herself to provide back to the nurses.

“My job is easy – I get to stand up and say I’m here for you.  It’s really those people in the front line that are doing the amazing work.