||Jennifer Grenier, DNP, RN-BC
Unit Director Telemetry - Rush Oak Park Hospital
Oak Park, IL
Member of IONL since 2013
Why did you become a member of IONL?
At first, I thought IONL was only for nursing leaders. So, when I was a bedside RN, I didn’t know I was qualified to join IONL. Boy, was I wrong. I joined when I first became a director because I was so new in my position and thought it would be a great opportunity to network and learn new things. As a new director, I was also looking for a mentor and was hoping to find one in IONL; I found many!
What about the nursing profession, interested you initially?
I come from a family of public servants. I was raised by a police officer and knew what it was like to raise a family on shift work. I loved the idea of wearing PJs to work and only working 3 days a week, but my number one reason is that I love the relationships I have built with patients and co-workers. I still get a Christmas card from a liver transplant patient I took care of 12 years ago. She was 19 at the time of her transplant, and she now has 3 children and is doing great. It’s wonderful to be able to share such an impactful connection with her. I have always also been a social person and can talk to anyone, so nursing was the perfect fit.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part by far is building my staff of new graduates into one of Illinois nurse leaders. I love to see my staff grow and try new things. To see a staff member go from a shy timid new graduate to running the ER is just amazing.
Tell us about yourself. What do you like to do outside of work?
I have 2 daughters: Julia, 9, and Abbi, 6. I coach my older daughter’s softball team and I love it. I played softball in college, so it’s exciting for me to be able to teach my child the sport and see her grow. I have an amazing husband who is super supportive of my nursing career. I recently started my DNP program in systems leadership at Rush University. I just ran my second half marathon. I am also involved in a community outreach program called the Surplus Project that is packaging surplus food from Rush Oak Park Hospital’s kitchen to feed the homeless.
What benefits have you experienced since becoming a member of IONL?
I cannot believe the benefits I have experienced by becoming a member of IONL. I am now currently a board member and the chair of the Nursing Care Consortium Committee (NC-3). The networking aspect of IONL has been so beneficial.
Why would you encourage others to participate in IONL?
IONL is not just for nursing executives; it is for all nurses who are leaders and aspiring leaders in Illinois. If you aspire to be a leader in Illinois, this is the first step towards your success. From the monthly webinars for NC-3 to the mid-year and yearly conferences, you will not be disappointed in this investment towards your success.
As I mentioned before, I joined IONL because I yearned for a mentor. I can now say that I have at least five Illinois nurse leaders who I can turn to for guidance, who help shape me into the leader I want to be, all because I joined IONL and made the connections. Thank you, IONL!