Janice Southard
Janice Southard
Nurse Manager- SwedishAmerican Hospital A Division of UW Health
Rockford, Illinois
Member of IONL since 2013

Why did you become a member of IONL?

Upon joining SwedishAmerican Hospital, I quickly heard and learned about IONL and the benefits that the organization provides to not only its members, but to nursing as a whole. It sounded like a perfect fit for me. I was very interested to hear about how to get involved and reach out to others via networking opportunities.

What about the nursing profession, interested you initially?

Teaching, teaching, teaching! As a young child my goal in life was to teach. Nursing gave me the flexibility to work the shift that would work best for my work life balance, along with satisfaction of doing what I love every day at work. Nursing surrounds my family, which includes our youngest child who is in her second semester of nursing school.

What is your favorite part of your job?

To this day, I love nursing and the work that it presents every day. The passion still exists after years of various nursing positions. My best advice to my children is to love what they do and then it’s really not work. Every day is different and can be challenging, through it all I continue to love nursing.

Tell us about yourself. What do you like to do outside of work?

We are busy at our house, as we have eight children and ten grandchildren! There is always something going on, whether it is a birthday or a sporting event. Mom and dad or grandma and grandpa are most always there. My extremely supportive husband who has seen me through my associates, bachelors and masters degrees is most always by my side. Together we often work on remodeling as we get ready to sell our home, as we have become empty nesters. Most recently, we have become cruise fans….bon voyage anyone!

What benefits have you experienced since becoming a member of IONL?

The benefits of IONL are countless! Shortly after joining, I was fortunate to experience the IONL Fellowship Program; four known experts mentored and taught throughout the year long program. I still have contacts and maintain networking opportunities that were gained from this group. In addition, I use the learned skills on an everyday basis. The Annual and Mid-Year Conferences have been a huge success and I have learned much from these learning events. This provides yet another chance to network with others and share knowledge. Finally, there is the Membership Engagement Committee. Through this committee, I am able to share and sing the praises of IONL. We connect with groups around the state and encourage them to join and share their expertise. We are proud to say that in 2015, we went over our goal, obtaining 500 plus members!

Why would you encourage others to participate in IONL?

IONL is for everyone. There is something for every nurse regardless of their level of work and/or expertise. Mentorship and networking are all around throughout the organization. Connections make our work easier and IONL helps to lighten the load for everyone with the events, networking and opportunities that are offered.

Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders
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