Name: Heather Stafford, MBA, BSN, R.N., NE-BC
Current Position: Chief Nursing Officer, TriStar Summit Medical Center/Hermitage, Tenn.
Hometown: Lebanon, Tenn.
2013, Director of Emergency Services and Cardiovascular Services, TriStar Skyline Medical Center/Nashville, Tenn.
2016, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, TriStar Skyline Medical Center/Nashville, Tenn.
2019, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, TriStar Summit Medical Center/Hermitage, Tenn.
2020 Chief Nursing Officer, TriStar Summit Medical Center/Hermitage, Tenn.
Why did you choose to pursue a degree?
I chose to pursue my MBA with WGU Tennessee to better prepare myself for the operations side of health care. As an Emergency and Cardiovascular Department director at the time, I felt this degree would help to further my knowledge of operations and aid in my leadership growth and development.
I chose WGU Tennessee for my master’s degree as it was the perfect fit for my busy schedule. In addition to work life, I am a wife and mother and needed something to adapt into an already busy schedule. Additionally, HCA supports employee growth and development by offering tuition reimbursement and discounts to earn a degree from WGU.
How has WGU improved your career?
Obtaining my degree from WGU Tennessee has been a rewarding experience as it has further developed my operational skillset and knowledge, specifically with finance. Health care finance was a tough class for me but has better prepared me for situations I face each day in my current role.
What is the takeaway you would impart to potential WGU students?
Much the same way HCA supports our growth, so does WGU Tennessee! The support offered throughout the program was amazing. Each student is assigned a mentor to help keep you on track and support you when needed. Lastly, the ability to take classes self-paced was the perfect fit for me, being a working mother with a demanding career.