2021 Nightingale Award Winner - Erin Reynolds, BSN, RN
Challenges Don’t Stand a Chance
Erin Reynolds - BSN, RN
Erin Reynolds, a clinical director at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus loves challenges. While covid-19 presented many challenges, Erin and her team met them all.
Lots of people like challenges. People climb mountains and run marathons and do hard things—voluntarily. But few can look back on the early months of 2020 and say they found the unprecedented challenges presented by the covid-19 pandemic invigorating.
Erin Reynolds, BSN, RN, is one those people. She doesn’t just rise to a challenge; she relishes it.
As a clinical director at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Erin supervises more than 100 medical-surgical nurses working in the hospital’s busy intensive care units.
“I wanted to become a nurse because I love the intersection where biology meets mystery,” Erin recalled. “Nursing was something that allowed me to be engaged and active with my hands. It also gave me the opportunity to connect with people.”
From an early age, Erin loved a challenge. In college, she worked as an EMT and flourished in the high-pressure environment. It was no surprise when she accepted her first nursing job working in an intensive care unit.
Years later, she transitioned to her current role as a clinical director overseeing the medical/surgical unit. “I came to Inova because I wanted the big campus where there is lots of energy and lots of things going on. It can be really stressful, but it is also very rewarding.”
During the early months of the pandemic, Erin was essential in helping to establish the new covid unit. As the situation evolved quickly, Erin and a diverse team of peers developed plans to best care for the community.
“One of the most important things in preparing to serve covid patients was communication,” Erin said. “I also focused on rallying my team and addressing their concerns and getting their perspectives into what processes would work. Our overall focus was to continue to deliver a really high standard of care, but also to make sure that we kept our staff safe.”
While Erin remembers being stressed, she also recalls feeling excited. “It was an enormous challenge to adapt our units to serve covid patients, but there was so much energy,” Erin concluded. “There were certainly hard days, but there were also a lot of exciting days.”
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