||Robin R. Gordon, MBA, RN, FACHE, CENP
Chief Nurse – Operations/Acute & Ambulatory Care
VA Illiana Health Care System
Member of IONL since 2010
Why did you become a member of IONL?
I have been a member for many years, even before it was called Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders. I joined because I felt that it was the best way to keep up with what was happening in the nursing market. It was a great organization to join for networking opportunities and the ability to keep up with the changing healthcare environment.
What about the nursing profession, interested you initially?
My favorite part of every job that I have is quality. I like the process of change and looking at things from a quality/performance improvement perspective and how can we make it better. I would say that this is what I tell everyone when I am talking to them about my career. If I wasn’t in the position that I am currently in, then I would definitely be in a position related to quality management or performance improvement.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I've had a chance to use several of the competencies from
the fellowship as my role evolves at my organization. The year-long
fellowship allowed us to build connections that will endure throughout our
Tell us about yourself. What do you like to do outside of work?
I can say that my husband is my favorite person and I have the pleasure of helping him with his job on the weekends where he serves as a church minister. Many people at work ask if my weekend was relaxing and I usually have to say no because this is a busy time for our family. In addition to his work as a minister, my husband had a career as a behavioral health and hospice nurse and has served as the chaplain when he has been in those roles. My husband has recently gone into retirement and will not be renewing his RN license this year. Over my career, he has been my biggest supporter and has encouraged me along the way. We have 3 married children and 6 grandchildren ranging in ages from 3 to 20 years of age. I am proud to say that we have a daughter who is an RN and a daughter in law who is an RN. We definitely try and keep nursing in the family!
What benefits have you experienced since becoming a member of IONL?
Throughout my career, I have seen many benefits of IONL, but the most impactful time
that IONL has been beneficial to me was when the staffing ratios legislation came up a few years ago. I was a Chief Nurse Executive at this time and IONL was a great resource related to this topic and provided myself and my hospital some talking points that we could use as we addressed this legislation.
I have had a time when I was no longer employed due to some administrative changes in my organization. I cannot even tell you the amount of support that I received during that time. I had individuals offering to be my references or tell me about similar situations that they had experienced. I would have never had all of those resources if I wasn’t a member of IONL. Networking and support of the members of IONL helped me to get through this difficult time in my career.
Additionally, the information that I can quickly gain through the IONL website is very valuable to me. The website allows me to keep up with upcoming legislation or events throughout the state in a quick period of time. I could not gain information this quickly without the resources of IONL.