Unsung Heros: Meet the Nurses

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Unsung Heros: Meet the Nurses
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By Heather Weekley
Photos by Will Shilling

They work tirelessly, and with heart to spare. Here, we profile four of Central Ohio’s most stellar nurses—the unsung heroes who boost doctors, inspire patients, save lives and serve as leaders in their field.

Ann Schiele


Residence: Westerville

Credentials: PhD, RN, president and dean of Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Her story: Schiele boasts 52 years with the Mount Carmel Health System, beginning as a staff nurse, later teaching nursing, and eventually becoming the leader of Mount Carmel College of Nursing. Schiele and her team transformed the school in 1990 from a three-year diploma program to one offering a four-year degree. “I love working with people and students,” says Schiele, who will step down from her role as president and dean this summer. She insists she’s not retiring; rather, she is simply moving on to serve the Mount Carmel Health System in other capacities. “I feel in this time of my life that educated men and women need to give back to the community,” Schiele says. “If I can make a penny’s worth of difference in someone else’s life, that’s great. I love people, and I will do anything to help another person.”

Louise Williams


Residence: Pickerington

Credentials: BSN, RN, CNOR, staff nurse IV at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute

Her story: After spending some time in neurointensive-care nursing, Williams found her calling in the operating room. She’s spent 20 years as an operating room nurse, and has been with The James since 2003. “It’s truly the best job I’ve ever had,” Williams says. “We have relationship-based care—treating people with kindness and respect. That means the patients, your colleagues and you.” Williams notes that during her career, one of the things she’s been most proud of is serving as chair of the Magnet Program. (The James has been recognized as a Magnet hospital—a designation considered the highest honor an organization can receive for nursing practices and patient care.) “When people hear those three devastating words, ‘You have cancer,’ we at The James give those people hope,” Williams says. “We touch a lot of people’s lives through just one person.”

Courtney Clifton


Residence: Clintonville

Credentials: RN, nurse in the Medical Cardiac Surgical ICU at Mount Carmel West

Her story: After attending Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Clifton became an ICU nurse at Mount Carmel West. “The ICU is controlled chaos,” Clifton says. “You never know what you’re going to get. You always have to be on your toes. But I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie.” Combining her love of nursing with her passion for missions, Clifton has been on two trips to Haiti and one to Uganda to help care for those in need. Her first trip to Haiti was less than a year after finishing school, and it gave Clifton confidence and helped her grow as a nurse at Mount Carmel. “I love that where I work, it’s like a family,” she says. “There’s always someone to support you no matter what is happening or how bad your day is. It’s very much a team approach.”

Jaynette Smith


Residence: Lewis Center

Credentials: RN, staff nurse for the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s

Her story: As a student at Ohio State, Smith had plans to become a certified public accountant. When she realized how much she enjoyed science, she switched her focus to nursing and never looked back. She’s been a critical care nurse at St. Ann’s for nearly 20 years, and even met her husband at the hospital (he’s a doctor of emergency medicine). The mother of three works several 12-hour shifts each week and also sits on St. Ann’s Nurse Quality Council. “St. Ann’s has that sense of family,” Smith says. “It’s encouraging and motivating. I love my colleagues and the administration. Sometimes there are challenges, but there’s always someone there to help you.”