After a 31-year career at CRH that began as a nursing student/transport aide and will culminate as director of clinical operations nursing services, Cindy Loyd, RN, BSN, will retire in January.
Cindy joined CRH in 1990 as a transport aide. When in nursing school, she came to the hospital to ask about a job, and when she arrived at the reception desk, the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at the time – Eileen Dean – happened to be there and interviewed her. Cindy was hired that day. After serving as a transport aide, Cindy became a care partner on 4T. At the time, CRH had a program for nursing students to develop from intermediate into advanced student nurses. The ICU would take one advanced student nurse a year, and she applied and was accepted for the job. Upon graduating, she wanted to work in the ICU, but she needed more experience. Cindy took a position on 2T for about a year and then moved over to the ICU, working the night shift. In addition to working in the ICU, Cindy also held jobs as a home health nurse and at Silver Oaks on her off weekends. “Back then I was younger,” she joked – Cindy was also a single mom raising two young girls, so the extra income helped.
Cindy left CRH for a six-month period but realized she wanted to be at CRH for the long-term and returned. Her next role was as a case manager and education coordinator in the ICU. Cindy enjoys teaching, mentoring, and helping new nurses to grow, which is what she got to do in that job. “I loved that job,” she said. As a case manager, she also liked helping people and families through crises. The CNO at the time – Cherona Hajewski – asked her what her career aspirations were, and Cindy was interested in becoming the ICU manager. The 2T manager role opened up, however, and Cherona thought that would be a good first step. Cindy liked it so much she stayed in the role for 11 years. Fun fact: CNO Staci Glick was one of her employees on 2T during that period.
In 2015, Cindy was named a director and assumed responsibility for the ICU, 2T, and Emergency Department. The departments under her direction varied over the next few years and pretty much included all of the inpatient units at some point. “I’ve ended up with Mental Health, Birthing Center, Peds, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T, 6T, and then ED for a short period.” Her current title – Director of Clinical Operations Nursing Services – includes director responsibilities for Mental Health, Birthing Center, Pediatrics, 3T, 2G, 5T, 6T, and 7T.
As Cindy looks back over the last three decades, some career highlights include the formation of the Nurse Practice Council. She was early to serve in the co-chair/chair roles. The Council started the Nightingale Award to be given during Nurses Week. “I was pretty proud of that at the time. I’m just really proud to be a nurse and think we should celebrate our profession,” Cindy said.
Cindy is also proud of the work she did to help grow 2T – both the telemetry program and nurses’ skill levels. “I felt like I mentored so many nurses with the intent of growing critical care nurses. That’s where I saw 2T – as an incubator for critical care nurses. And I loved to see those nurses grow in their knowledge and skill and then transition to ICU, Cath Lab, Surgery, going to NP school. I’m just very proud of them,” she said.
While Cindy has helped other nurses grow in their own careers, she has felt that same support from CRH. It is what kept her at CRH for 31 years – “I’ve always felt supported and mentored throughout my career,” she said.
Cindy is looking forward to retirement, which will include traveling (when it is safer to do so) and getting a dog. With a busy career, she did not feel it would be fair for a dog to be stuck at home alone. With a little extra time on her hands now, she’s ready for a furry friend. Cindy also sees herself moving to Tennessee or somewhere in the South – closer to family. But she will miss her work family, too. “I will miss the people and the relationships,” she said.
Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for your service to CRH, our patients, and community, Cindy!
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