Career path leads nurse back to MU Health Care
Rozlyn Drew, MSN, RN, didn’t always see herself becoming a nurse, though she has always had a passion for helping others. After graduation, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do and worked for her father’s excavation business for three years, sitting behind the wheel of a 17-ton earth mover.
Then, Drew saw an opportunity to follow her dream. While giving birth to her third child, Drew”s interactions with nurses provided a spark, and shortly after, she enrolled in a nursing degree program.
Drew started as a staff nurse at MU Health Care in 2010, working in the surgical services department.
“The big draw for me with MU Health Care is the culture, and I’ve always felt that patient care and safety are above everything else,” Drew said. “I know it’s a business, but I’ve never felt that business was more important than the patient, and I love that feeling.”
She worked in surgical services for six years as a staff nurse, then became a nurse educator for the department. Drew has worked in nursing leadership for the last three years and continues her passion for helping others as a clinical nurse manager of an adult unit at Missouri Psychiatric Center (MUPC).
“The most rewarding part is seeing people get better,” Drew said. “Psychiatric illness is a lifelong issue, and we have patients that come in unstable, and by the time they leave, they’re thanking us for our help. That’s the most rewarding part.”
While working as a nurse, Drew decided she wanted to go back to school. She received her master’s degree in 2017 and then left MU Health Care the following year to explore leadership positions. She took a job with another health system but was drawn back because she missed the resources available for nurses at an academic health system and the culture of MU Health Care.
“When I left, I caught myself trying to bring all of those things I used from MU to my new job,” Drew said. “That’s one of the big things that brought me back. However, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to gain outside experience because it put things in perspective for me. I know my future will always be with MU Health Care. I plan to retire from this organization, because I know we believe in our mission, vision and values.”
The COVID-19 pandemic brought its own challenges, particularly the increases in cases brought on by the omicron variant in early 2022. MUPC staff at all levels worked with MU Health Care’s Infection Control to limit the virus’ spread, which sometimes meant changing procedures and guidelines quickly.
Drew said she appreciated the interdisciplinary communication and collaboration among nurses, doctors and other leaders at MUPC.
“It makes it easier for us to do our jobs because we’ve built relationships with our provider team,” Drew said. “Muaid Ithman, MD, vice chair for clinical operations and medical director for the adult units, has built strong relationships with MUPC leaders and frontline staff. He’ll talk to the staff, he listens, and that’s essential in building human connections with the team. I’ve never worked so closely with a physician team as I have here in MUPC.”