Category / Careers

My Neighborhood

May 15, 2019

“My time with Presbyterian SeniorCare Network has been ever evolving. I remember the day I interviewed to work here! I sat across from Kathy Hammar, who is now the Administrator here at Westminster Place. I remember how scared I was! She asked me why I wanted to work here, and I thought long and hard about my reasoning. I was inspired by my own mother who has been an RN for over 40 years! Growing up, I lived in a primarily elderly neighborhood. My parents took it upon themselves to give my brother and I exposure to our wonderful aging neighbors. I remember each of them fondly.

Here is where I gave my reasoning: I told her that I loved seniors and found them to be inspirational! My neighbor, Mr. Johnny next door, would have us over to sit on his porch until we were exhausted talking about the “good days” and when times were different. He was the kindest soul, he always called me “sweetheart.” My brother, Jonathan and I, had special permission to go into his garage and get out the extra lawn mower wheels from the shelf and race them down his hilly sidewalk on the side of his house, whenever we wanted! His neighbor, Mrs. Betty, was a lovely woman with white hair who lived alone. She was a joy and delight to talk with. She attended my birthday parties as a child. We didn’t sit too much on her porch, but she did invite me in and played piano for me. We also sat in her kitchen and talked for hours about her grandchildren and her kids. I loved listening to her speak about “the old days.” Across the street lived Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Cres. Two spunky individuals who I remember fondly. They drove a giant purple Cadillac and I don’t think she ever cooked a meal because they would invite us into their house and she always said “Let’s get you something special from the oven.” The oven was full of Lance sandwich crackers. On certain nights of the week they would be dressed in matching outfits to go square dancing! I loved seeing what outfit they would be wearing. These folks taught me a lot about life in general. And finally the last person who was the biggest influence in life, my Grammie. She played the biggest roll in raising me and I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.

I have stayed at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network for 10 years because of all of the people! Fellow team members, residents and family members have made a huge impact in my life. We have a resident who I care for currently, whose daughters hug me every time they see me! That is heartwarming to me! It makes it easier to get out of bed to come to work. This is my neighborhood and these are my neighbors. I must say my most cherished memory is getting to know all of the residents who I have had the pleasure of knowing and they will meet me again one day.

Like Emily, do you have a story about Presbyterian SeniorCare Network that you would like to share? We would love to hear it! Click here to visit our web page. Once there, please click on the button, Share My Story.

Once you have submitted your story, you will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win a $50 Visa gift card! Winners will be pulled the first Monday of every month.

HELP WANTED: Must Have a Passion for Serving Seniors

May 9, 2019

Long-term care is a clinically rich career for nurses

Long-term care, isn’t that boring?” Well, imagine this. It is 3 am, and the usually quiet night shift suddenly springs an emergency on you. As the nurse, you may be challenged to make decisions that provide the best possible outcome for all of those involved. If that sounds more like the ER than long-term care, you’d be wrong.

What makes nursing in long-term care so clinically rich? We sat down with Kristin Henderson, senior director of clinical services for Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, to ask the important questions about a nursing career in long-term care.

Q: Is long-term care different than say a hospital environment?

A: If you are expecting the overhead paging system directing you to a “code” or sirens and medical professionals running down the hall with a crash cart, then yes. But in terms of the care provided, we are pretty competitive. The landscape of hospital care has changed. Before, a patient would stay in the hospital for a week or more and get most of the care they needed while in the hospital. But now, that is totally different. A patient is in the hospital for one to three days and then they discharge to a skilled nursing community like ours for short-term care. So the care that was once provided at the hospital is now provided in a long-term care setting, specifically in a rehabilitation setting. The majority of the time, nurses in long-term care are utilizing the same skills as those in the hospital. The bottom line is the skill set required to be a successful long-term care nurse is very specialized and utilizes a hands-on approach.

I think one of the most obvious differences in a long-term care environment is the relationship that our nurses build with their residents and their families. That relationship is key to their care plan, not only for the medical needs, but for the care of the whole person. My nursing teams tell me that this is a rewarding environment because they are able to see the resident through their entire plan of care.

Q: What types of nursing jobs are available in long-term care?

A: We hire at a variety of levels. Entry level team members are Certified Nurse's Aides (CNA) and they provide the direct day-to-day care. At mid-level, we hire Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Registered Nurses (RN). We also hire experienced nurses directly into manager and supervisor roles. But even RNs and LPNs without manager or supervisor experience have room for career growth. We have had great success training and growing our nurses into team lead positions, supervisor positions, as well as nurse educator and nurse navigator positions. We really can accommodate a variety of skill sets and experience levels!

Q: You’ve been with us for 15 years. What characteristics do you see amongst the nurses across our Network?

A: All nurses get into the field because they want to care for others. Our nursing teams are passionate about caring for others, it is ingrained in their DNA. And they do this every day, even when the day is emotionally or physically demanding, the caring never stops.

Our nurses are critical thinkers. They spend a lot of time with our physician groups and absorb a great deal of knowledge that they can use when a doctor is not onsite. They are comfortable offering recommendations to the doctors since they know their residents so well. They do this because they have a strong desire to quickly and accurately have proper diagnoses and treatments developed for our residents; after all, that’s what our residents deserve.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of your 15 year tenure?

A: Let me take you back to my first day at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network working as a staff nurse. I was given a stack of lab results to interpret and then report any abnormal results back to my supervisor. I had previously worked in a hospital setting where a doctor was always there and someone else read the lab results, I had not used those skills in years! What I quickly learned is that nurses in long-term care are challenged in new ways each day to pull all of those skills they learned in nursing school from the backs of their brains. It’s a really exciting environment if you like using critical thinking skills and nursing judgment. To meet these needs, we are committed to providing relevant training to refresh skills.

Q: Is a career in long-term care for anyone?

A: No, just like a career in a hospital setting or doctor’s office is not for everyone. It’s all about knowing your career aspirations and finding the right fit for you.

Q: What do we do to ensure that those we are recruiting are a good fit?

A: We want consistency of care for our residents and want to avoid as much team member turnover as possible because that impedes on that continuity of care, so we work hard in the interview process to ensure that our candidates understand the environment, and also feel that we fit into their own unique career goals. We offer tours of our campuses to prospective team members, as well as, when possible, the opportunity to shadow a current nurse and interact with our current team members.

Our recruitment team has a great motto: Happy caregivers = happy residents/patients = positive outcomes. I believe in that motto.

Q: The unemployment rate is low right now, making the job market very competitive and nursing jobs are always in demand. What are we doing to reach out to prospective nurses at every level?

A: We know that recruiting nurses is not a one-stop-shop and that there are multiple things we need to do to engage prospective team members. Our clinical recruiters are out and about, visiting nursing schools and participating in community events to share our open positions, as well as answering any questions about working in long-term care. We also know that there is a benefit to talking with our current high school- and college-aged employees. They may already know our organization through an entry level position in housekeeping or dining services, so it’s important for us to educate them about other career paths that are available in our nursing departments. We know that not everyone wants to go to college, so we offer guidance on the positions available within our organization that do not require a degree, such as a CNA. In 2018, our recruiters Network-wide made more than 300 touchpoints with the public, so we are out there!

Q: Anything you’d like to say to a prospective nurse looking to work in long-term care?

A: I could go on for hours about long-term care nursing careers! For prospective nurses, I’d say that each day you come to work, you get to use not only your clinical judgment, but what’s in your heart. We have a culture of caring, not only for our residents, but for our coworkers. It is truly a privilege to care for our residents, and if you are looking for a place to work where you can make a profound difference, we’re the place for you.

Explore Careers:

We love our nurses!

May 8, 2019

Nursing at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network

Your Path. Your Expertise. Your Impact.

In honor of National Nurses Week, we are proud to feature one of our many superstar nurses! Check out why Stefany loves her work!

“I have worked at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network for 14 years and I love my position as an RN. I have a flexible schedule that allows for a healthy work/life balance with good pay and benefits. 

I love being a part of a nonprofit organization that has strong faith-based values and truly places the residents first. I value the personal relationships I have been able to form with our residents and their families over the years. My residents and coworkers have become my second family. 

I honestly could not see myself working in any other field or community. I am truly blessed.”

Stefany Renner, RN
Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, Washington Campus

Nursing at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network: A job isn’t one size fits all—it should be unique to the person filling the role! Here, our person-centered approach rings true for our residents, patients and team members alike. Find more than just a job. Build lasting relationships while doing meaningful work in a home-like setting. It’s your path. Be Uniquely YOU at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network.

Apply now! Click here to browse the RN and LPN open positions around our Network.

How to Job Hunt if You Haven’t in Years

April 30, 2019

The keys, according to this expert, are people skills and patience
By Kerry Hannon

People looking for jobs in their 50s or 60s who haven’t been job hunters in years — maybe decades — often tell me they find the process frustrating. They apply for posted jobs and never hear back — the “black hole” syndrome. Steve Dalton, program director for daytime career services at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and author of The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get The Right Job Faster sympathizes, but also has important advice: You need to know how to look for work in this age of virtual job search.

“Sadly, every year I see dozens of very smart people voluntarily subject themselves to situations with high competition and low odds of success (online job postings, most commonly),” Dalton writes. “Submitting resumés online lets job seekers feel like they’re looking for a job, but it’s like watching someone beating up a vending machine completely unwilling to accept that it just ate his or her money.”

The 2-Hour Job Search

After reading The 2-Hour Job Search, I interviewed Dalton to hear more; below you’ll see my eight favorite tips he offered.

Now about that “2-hour” notion: In reality, the two hours are not how long it will actually take you to get hired, but the time it will take to winnow down your list of 40 potential employers and finding networking connections who can be your insider booster or advocate. That’s a person who can bring your resumé to the right person, make an introduction and help you get an interview.

“In practice, you start with forty employers that you rank in terms of priority, but no job seeker I have worked with who has followed the two-hour search has ever gotten past fifteen without getting hired,” Dalton says.

The Power of Boosters for a Job Hunt

Boosters are the people who love their current job and take an interest in helping others advance their careers, according to Dalton. “It essentially boils down to purposeful relationship building,” he says. “Even if you are not the perfect fit for the job, but you can get someone to advocate for you, you can jump ahead of people who might have that fit, but don’t have a champion.”

Dalton’s people-centric approach hits me as particularly wise with the news this week that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged two companies with bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from consumers for sham job placement and resumé repair services. To get an interview, job seekers had to pay upfront fees of $1,200 to $2,500. In many instances, the defendants pocketed consumers’ money knowing the job opportunities were fake, according to the FTC. A federal court halted the scheme and froze the defendants’ assets at the FTC’s request.

8 Tips for a Job Hunt After 50

Now, as promised, here are my favorite eight job-seeking tips from Dalton. They can be summarized in three words: people skills and patience:

  1. Don’t be embarrassed. “There’s a lot of needless embarrassment and shame associated with job searching mid- or late-career, when nobody at that age has been rigorously taught how to job search, particularly in the online job posting era. Don’t be ashamed. Embrace this as a new skill set — turning strangers into advocates on demand,” says Dalton.
  2. Get contacts at your prospective employers to talk about why they are so good at their work. “Set up an informational interview. This can take some persistence. Find people whose work you admire, preferably at companies where you want to work, and reach out by phone or in person to learn about their jobs,” says Dalton.
  3. During these conversations, resist the temptation to sell yourself. “It is the sell-yourself mentality that sends the conversations off the rails. Focus on really learning. When you embrace the humbling process of no longer selling yourself and instead dedicate yourself to listening, you will get so far, so quickly,” says Dalton.
  4. Hone your listening skills. “When I give my talks, I show the audience a GIF of dog cuddling up to its owner because dogs are experts at this. When they look at their owner, there is not another person in that dog’s world. They block everyone out. They are singularly focused. We don’t love dogs because they are good conversationalists. We love them because we are the only person in their world when they look at us. That is the key to listening well,” says Dalton.
  5. Be likeable. “The point is not to tell them why you are so great. The point is to let them know that they have been heard. That you are open to learning and are passionate about learning about their employer or the work they do. You are perceived to be likeable if you are listening. It’s how you build a booster relationship. It is counterintuitive concept,” says Dalton.
  6. Take advantage of LinkedIn. “I don’t endorse a lot of career -related websites, but I do consider LinkedIn a must. Even better, it’s free [if you don’t sign up for the premium version]. A LinkedIn People Search helps find contacts at a target employer. It’s six degrees of separation. You supply the name of employer and it shows the closest connection you have to someone who works there. If it’s someone who shares an alumni connection with you, even better. LinkedIn Groups are also helpful to find connections, or people to reach out to with a short, fewer than one-hundred words, email that has no mention of a job, just your connection to him or her and expressing an interest in learning about a topic,” says Dalton.
  7. Use job boards for research. “Online job postings aren’t good for getting you a job, but they’re great information about what sorts of jobs are available in a particular city. I recommend using Indeed for meta information; what employers are looking for in your city, even different jobs than what you’re looking for. I always figure the specific jobs listed are already spoken for. The chance of a random applicant online going through and getting that job is a longshot. Remember, you are looking for people. I have never heard of a job seeker finding a job online who didn’t have a booster,” says Dalton.
  8. Don’t fear technology. “The good news there is really no intimidating technology anyone has to learn to pull this off. Use a simple spreadsheet to create your list of employers; LinkedIn and Google searches to learn about trends in the industry that interests you and to discover smaller companies in the field doing interesting things that you may not  have known. You may also tap into databases such as an alumni one or Dun & Bradstreet’s Hoovers to learn about competitors of companies you’re interested in that may tip you off to less obvious employers. Back in the old days it was accidental networking; you meet or know somebody who knows somebody. Now the game is about having those accidental meetings, but on purpose. That is terrifying, but not a lot of new technology to learn,” says Dalton.

By Kerry Hannon

Kerry Hannon has covered personal finance, retirement and careers for The New York Times, Forbes, Money, U.S. News & World Report and USA Today, among other publications. She is the author of a dozen books including Money Confidence: Really Smart Financial Moves for Newly Single WomenGreat Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy...and Pays the Bills, Getting the Job You Want After 50, Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness and What's Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond. Her website is Follow her on Twitter @kerryhannon.

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Helping to Shape Our Culture

April 23, 2019

We love when our team members share their stories, especially when it shows their 31 year journey with Presbyterian SeniorCare Network!

Read about Dawn Kauffman, a CNA at The Willows, the skilled nursing community at our Oakmont campus, and how resident care has evolved throughout her career as a CNA.

“I have worked at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network for 31 years and have seen so many positive changes. When I first started, I worked in the "Presbyterian Medical Center," which is now "The Willows." Just the name change shows how we have changed to a person-centered culture, caring not only for the medical needs, but the whole person. Back in the 1980s, we cared for everyone exactly the same way, so when we first started talking about changing our culture, I was very doubtful as to how it would turn out. But it really has changed for the better for all of the residents in our care, and I'm proud to have been a part of that change!”

Like Dawn, do you have a story about Presbyterian SeniorCare Network that you would like to share? We would love to hear it! Click here to visit our web page. Once there, please click on the button, Share My Story.

Once you have submitted your story, you will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win a $50 Visa gift card! Winners will be pulled the first Monday of every month.

Meet me at the Sim Lab

April 19, 2019

“Maxine” enhances quality of clinical training

I am an advocate of blended learning. Learning in the classroom setting is certainly important, but learning extends way beyond sitting in a classroom. The classroom does not offer real life condition changes, so it is important to utilize training that includes real scenarios in order to enhance and refresh the confidence and skills of our caregiving teams,” says Ginny Burke, director of clinical quality and education. Ginny continues, “There is an increase in acuity of our skilled nursing residents. Hospitals are under pressure to discharge patients and long-term care communities are caring for individuals requiring higher levels of care. Our clinical teams are expected to have the skill and confidence to care for residents that are more complex, and be able to identify subtle changes that may indicate a significant change in condition.”

How do we ensure that our teams are up for the challenge? With Maxine.

Scenario-based training with Maxine “We have access to a simulation mannequin, or Maxine as we fondly refer to her, through our partners at Health Ventures Alliance in Erie. The simulator allows our nurse educators to set-up scenarios for our teams so that they can comfortably work through assessing a resident,” says Kristen Moore, care transition educator for our Erie campuses. While the team member is assessing Maxine, the mannequin has the capability to respond to what the team member is doing for treatment. So the “patient” changes as the scenario moves forward.

Photo caption: Megan Smith, LPN, practices recognizing lung sounds. 

“Maxine helps our clinical team members learn how to identify changes and seek interventions earlier in the treatment process. They also learn how to stabilize a patient, which in a real-life scenario, could ultimately avoid transfer to the hospital,” says Kristen. The simulation mannequin provides training on a variety of topics, including how to recognize normal and abnormal breath sounds and heart sounds, IV placement, blood draws, urinary catheterization, wound identification and care, injections, tracheotomy care, blood pressure checks and more. Another benefit of the simulator is that it offers special programming for common illnesses such as pneumonia and heart failure. “What’s great about Maxine is that she was built to have all of the common diagnoses that we see in our communities. If we find that at any given time, there are a number of residents in our care that have congestive heart failure (CHF), we are able to hold a special education session with our teams to discuss CHF, and then we program Maxine so that they can practice the proper treatments,” says Ginny.

The simulation lab was created at Manchester Commons, one of our campuses in Erie, after Ginny attended a presentation where the labs were discussed. At the end of the conference, she was so inspired, she drew the Simulation Lab on a piece of paper while waiting to catch her plane home. Her dream turned into reality shortly after, and the simulation lab was set-up like a typical resident room. When Maxine isn’t on campus for training, team members are still able to practice on the variety of simulated body parts that have been purchased for training purposes; they are able to practice clinical techniques on a foot, an arm, a leg and more.

How often do we train?

As part of orientation, newly hired Certified Nurses Aides (CNAs) and nurses participate in the Simulation Lab training to show that they are able to complete basic competency skills. Current nursing team members complete the training once a year as a refresher.

Photo caption: Team members practice proper wound dressing. 

“I have to admit, when we first started training with Maxine, it felt a little silly and awkward because she’s a mannequin. But those feelings quickly disappeared after a number of team members went through the training and thanked me for a refresher that they felt was needed. I cannot believe how many team members have told me ‘Wow, I learned how to do that procedure more efficiently,’ and ‘the lab was wonderful, can you believe I forgot how to take a manual blood pressure!’ But what gets me the most is when a team member tells me thank you and that they appreciated the time I took to show them how to do a particular procedure. That is what it’s all about – we are all in this together,” says Kristen.

“The Simulation Lab was a good refresher on a lot of different topics such as lung sounds, and I learned a lot about orthopedics as part of the simulation. Kristen was a great teacher and always willing to help, and when we didn’t know something, she just encouraged us to learn it and add something new to our skill sets. It is important to train on the simulation mannequin because it is the closest thing to a real person, which helps us in our everyday work.” ~ Jessica Bush, LPN at Manchester Commons, one of our Erie Campuses

Expanding the reach of the Simulation Lab

“We are so lucky to have access to the simulator through Health Ventures Alliance, but we could really benefit from having our own simulators so that team members from across our Network have consistent access to the tool,” says Ginny. Currently, the use of Maxine is limited to our Erie and Oil City communities, and while some team members have made special arrangements to travel to Erie to participate in the training, many are unable to make the trip. Ginny is working with Presbyterian SeniorCare Foundation, our fundraising arm, to raise money to purchase two of the simulators for use around our Network. David Dix, major gifts director explains that “the cost of one of the simulators is $42,000. So we are looking to raise $84,000 to purchase two simulators for educational purposes. Being able to purchase these is crucial to our success in providing well-rounded clinical training.”

If you are interested in learning more about donating towards the purchase of a simulator, please contact the Foundation office at 412-826-6195 or email

CNA Profile: Brianna Larrow

April 15, 2019

Meet Brianna Larrow, a team member who benefited from the CNA Training Classes at our Oakmont campus. Learn more about her journey to becoming a CNA.

Q: How long have you worked at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network?
A: I’ve worked at the Oakmont campus for about three years, working first in dining services as a hospitality aide, and now as a CNA.

Q: You decided to transition from the dining department to working as a CNA. Why?
A: While I worked in dining, I often received encouragement from residents and coworkers to take the CNA classes. I took their kind words to heart and  eventually enrolled! I did not have caregiving experience, so I saw the CNA training classes as more than just a way to advance my career and increase my knowledge, I saw it as an opportunity to do what I love – care for others.

Q: Did you find the class helpful in learning how to do the daily work of a CNA?
A: Yes. The CNA training classes taught me and my classmates the skills required to work in long-term care. I really feel that the classes taught me everything I needed to know so that I could perform my daily duties and responsibilities. I learned that I would be the eyes and ears in the skilled nursing neighborhood which made me feel like what I was training for was both needed and meaningful.

Q: In order to become a CNA, you need to pass a State test. Were you prepared?
A: I felt extremely prepared for the test after taking the class. Mindy (instructor) teaches us everything we need to know, going over all the material multiple times not only before the exam, but before we even step out on the floor with the residents. The clinical portion just reinforces everything we learn with Mindy in the classroom. By the time we took the test, the material is second nature.

Q: What did you enjoy most about the class?
A: I loved the clinical portion and gaining firsthand experience with the residents. I loved seeing how things worked as part of the clinical team and helping out, especially because I’m a hands-on learner. Because of my previous work in dining services, I already knew the residents well, and now I was able to work more closely with them, which was and still is so rewarding.

Q: As a CNA, what are some of your main responsibilities?
A: I take care of our residents, make sure they are comfortable and without pain. I help them with daily activities and observe any changes in condition, which I report to the nurse manager. I also keep them motivated and hope to make them smile!

Q: What would you say to anyone thinking about pursuing certification to become a CNA?
A: There is always a need for CNAs. If you love taking care of people and seeing them smile, consider becoming a CNA! Sometimes the job is hard, but in the end, it’s not about difficult duties, it’s about helping to make our residents feel important and cared for at this stage in their lives.

Interested in becoming a CNA like Brianna? Visit to explore your options around our Network! 

Team Member Testimony--Amy Barbarino

March 29, 2019

Amy's Journey with Presbyterian SeniorCare Network

When I think back, over 35 years ago when I first came for my interview right out of business school, I think…WOW! Where did the time go? It has been quite the journey.

At 18 years of age, my first interview here was to be an Assistant to the President’s Secretary. At that time, it was a small place and I met EVERYONE on my first day. Thinking about that and the evolution of the company, there are so many people now I still haven’t met. Presbyterian Association on Aging (the “old” name) has certainly changed in leaps and bounds.

This was my very first interview out of Bradford Business School and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to work for this company practically in my back yard!

Through the years, I worked my way around the company from Assistant to the Secretary; to Secretary to the newly created “Senior Housing Services” (now known as SeniorCare Network); to working in the Medical Center (The Willows) as a Unit Secretary; then lucky enough to be asked to come back to the Housing Division to work with Jim Pieffer. It’s been quite a journey with many, many offices.

Cherished Accomplishment/Memory

My kids grew up here. My daughter, Madeline, was the first kiddo in The Strawberry Patch, the daycare I helped start here on campus. Then my son, Orazio, came here, too. I loved that! I was able to visit my kiddos for lunch and story time. It allowed me to still work but know that I didn’t have to worry about them – I got to see them during my day. They would even yell at the Hamilton House window for me to come and play… and yes… I was known to take a turn in the bouncy house when they had their parties behind the Hamilton House (not sure Jim knows that but he does now lol. My kids are now in their 20’s – hard to believe!

I’ve seen beautiful residents come and go… my absolute favorite was Jim’s godmother, Loretta. She’d call for “Jimmy” and get me to come over to see her. I enjoyed every minute with her – she was a beautiful, beautiful soul and I still think of her today.

Believing in this company’s mission has kept me here for all these years. I’ve had family members in our system, and I wouldn’t have wanted them anywhere else. The care here is exceptional and I’m always proud to recommend Presbyterian SeniorCare Network. As in all jobs there are struggles, but working with a so many great team members, I honestly can’t imagine working anywhere else!

Explore our careers at!

A Nurse's Journey

March 13, 2019

We love when our team members share their stories, especially when it shows growth within their career at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network. Read about Kathy LaVan, Director of Nursing at Oakwood Heights, our Oil City campus, and why she has stayed with us since she became a nurse 22 years ago!

“I started at Presbyterian Homes (now Presbyterian SeniorCare Network) in November of 1995 as a graduate practical nurse. I never dreamed that over 22 years later, I would still be here. Those first few years, I was as scared as can be! I had patient teachers and even more patient residents as I learned to be more competent in my nursing skills. The residents I provide care to became part of my family, and watched me as my family grew to include three beautiful children. Through the years, I have sat with residents as they passed away, held hands with family members and provided comfort to families, residents and team members during difficult times. I had wonderful nurses who mentored me and coached me when I needed it. My hope is to pass my knowledge and experience on to the next generation of nursing to instill in them the art of caring for people.

I think one of the most remarkable things I have watched as a nurse has been the evolution of the long-term care world. When I came here in 1995, we had posey vests, lap buddies, four-point restraints, set meal times and horseshoe tables in which to feed multiple residents at the same time. We have grown from the institutional setting of the 1980’s to a community where we care about each resident as an individual with their desires in mind. I am very proud to work here and could not imagine working anywhere else.”

Like Kathy, do you have a story about Presbyterian SeniorCare Network that you would like to share? We would love to hear it! Click here to visit our web page. Once there, please click on the button, Share My Story. Once you have submitted your story, you will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win a $50 Visa gift card! Winners will be pulled the first Monday of every month.

How to Recharge Your Job or Career in 2019

February 6, 2019

A noted life and career coach offers her five-step plan
By Allison Task

Would you like to make 2019 a remarkable year for you?

A new year has begun. It’s is as exciting and fresh as the first day of school and a brand new lunchbox. You’re past those school days, of course, but you aren’t past embracing the new and possibilities to recharge your job or career this year.

As a career and life coach, I help people set — and more importantly — achieve life-changing goals. It’s what I do: identify what isn’t working, clarify what could be better and help people pursue a life they’d rather lead. I’d love to help you make 2019 a remarkable year.


What you’ll need:

A 2018 calendar, filled out (or your memories of 2018 fresh in your mind)

A 2019 calendar, fresh and new

Blank paper (or a Word doc if you’re more of a  computer person)

What you’ll get: A remarkable year.

There are five parts to this exercise — reflection, selection, envisioning, planning and sharing. Here’s how it works:


For this part, pull out that 2018 calendar if you have it or rely on your memory.

Write down the names of the months on three pieces of paper. Put four months down on a page, in separate quadrants. January, February, March, April on one, May, June July, August on another and September, October, November and December on the last page.

Now, review 2018 month by month. Let’s start with the trips you’ve taken. Where did you go, in which month? Short trips, overnights and longer trips. Write them down on the calendar.

Next: were there any landmark events for you? A new job, a promotion, weddings, graduations, births and deaths? What big events happened in your life, and the life of loved ones?

Sit with this for a while, as you start remembering one thing, which leads to another. As you start filling up the months, you may realize that you need more pages. Enjoy the memory trip.

You’re ready for phase two.


Once you’ve got a thick set of memories from 2018, take out another piece of paper. On one side, write “coming” and on the other side write “leaving.”

Imagine that you are packing your bag for 2019, and you can choose five things that come with you, and five things you’d like to leave behind. Maybe you hired a terrible contractor last year; leave him or her in the past. More importantly, what incredible things happened? New relationships or experiences that you could pick as the “best of” 2018?

Keep that list of five things you treasured from 2018 and want to bring with you and five things you’d prefer to leave behind.


You’ve just taken stock of 2018 and my guess is that it was more extensive and powerful than you may had remembered. So many things happened. And 2019 will be the same. Right now, you can choose those things.

Look at your top five treasures from 2018. If you were to elevate these, build on the joy they delivered and create even more joy, how could you do that? How could you plan that into the coming year? If you improved your health, how could you celebrate that or take that to the next level? If you became closer to an old friend, is there a new old friend you’d like to connect with this year?

Write it down. Acknowledge and elevate your top achievements from 2018.

Is there something missing that you’d like to be sure to add to this year? Think about what that would be

Maybe you’d like to start meditating more, or get off medications that you think are slowing you down.

Maybe you’d like to travel more, or nest more. This is your life; your choice.

Write it down. Add new goals for 2019.

Next, look at the four seasons and the month at the center of each: February, May, July and October. When you think of these seasons, what do you love most? Is it apple picking in October, and the beach in July? How can you embrace the upcoming season with a new or well-loved experience or person you’d like to have in the center of the season? What is the treasure you’d like to look forward to?

Write it down. Make sure to add your favorite parts of the year to 2019.


Now take out that 2019 calendar. What is already in place? Have you booked any travel already? When is your birthday? Any upcoming weddings, graduations or other events? Put those on the calendar.

Your 2019 treasure map is starting to take shape.

And now (drumroll please)… add in those extras: those bigger dreams and seasonal joys. Add in the items you identified in the “envisioning” phase. If you can dream it, you can build it. You’ve dreamt it, so put it on the calendar.

Have fun with this. You may find there’s too much to do in one year; some items may need to wait until 2020. Others that seemed important may not seem as urgent now that you’ve raised your game, so they can be replaced.


Onto Sharing. This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s time to share your dreams and your calendar with your friends and family members. Make a list of the top five items you want to do this year (that you’ve always done) and top five new objectives (that you’ve never done). Identify something, each month that you are looking forward to doing.

On the first of the month, announce the thing that you’re excited about. You may be telling your loved ones, but what you’re REALLY doing is telling yourself, reminding yourself how sweet your life is, and then sucking every last bit of sweet off your finger tips.

You have now created a treasure map for 2019 of the things you’d most like to do. Pursue that treasure. You’ve created a powerful vision. It can be as remarkable as you let it be.

Allison Task, is a Montclair, N.J. life and career coach whose business is Allison Task Career & Life Coaching. She is a author of Personal (R)evolution: How to Be Happy, Change Your Life and Do That Thing You’ve Always Wanted to Do.


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