Healthy You - Every Day

Nursing Career is a Dream Come True for Jolene Scatton

Lifelong dream of becoming a nurse came true at LVHN

What do you want to be when you grow up? Eyes filled with wonder, kids dream of being an astronaut, firefighter or president. For Jolene Scatton, RN, Director of Nursing, her dream was always to be a nurse.

“The biggest joy of my career is connecting with patients. You’re like their guardian angel and their safe place,” says Scatton. “On weekends, holidays, birthdays, even during snowstorms – there are always people in the hospital who need you.”

Today she leads a team of nursing and nursing support colleagues on the fifth floor medical-surgical telemetry unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Hazleton. Scatton has spent her entire nursing career – all 17 years – with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN).

“There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you saved someone’s life. I’ll never regret my career path – it’s always been nursing.” - Jolene Scatton, RN, Director, Medical-Surgical Telemetry, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton

Growing a nursing career with LVHN

In 2007, Scatton started as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) on the same unit she now works as director.

“I went straight from high school to the LPN program. I was not even 20 years old when I started as an LPN,” she says. “I remember being overwhelmed on my first day because it was my first job out of school, but I was amazed by the nurses around me. They knew so much. I always looked up to them and the way they interacted with patients. It inspired me to keep growing in my career.”

While she worked full time at LVH–Hazleton, Scatton pursued her dream of becoming a registered nurse (RN) by enrolling in classes at Luzerne County Community College. She graduated in 2016 among the top of her class and remained on the telemetry unit as an RN for a year before taking her next step.

“I took a position in the emergency room and fell in love with the critical nature of the role,” says Scatton.

Her time in the ER also sparked an interest in pursuing a leadership role, and after four years, she was well on the path to nursing leadership.

“I became the first Stroke and Chest Pain Coordinator for LVH–Hazleton, a brand-new role for the hospital,” says Scatton. “The autonomy to grow this new program helped prepare me for my first role in management.”

Returning to her roots

When a patient care coordinator role came available on the fifth floor medical-surgical telemetry unit, Scatton knew it was her calling.

“Ultimately, it was the career path I was meant to take,” says Scatton. “On the telemetry unit, a person’s heart is monitored 24 hours a day. We care for people who come to the hospital with chest pain or for observation after surgery or a stroke, and monitor their heart rhythm.”

Nurses on the medical-surgical telemetry unit care for people with a range of health needs, so their skills must be general and specific. Learning to read heart rhythms is a skill she learned early from her fellow nurses and one she now helps teach new nurses.

“I started on night shift,” says Scatton. “It was the night-shift team that trained me and taught me how to be a nurse. Now I enjoy mentoring nurses who are new on the unit.”

She worked as patient care coordinator until the position of unit director came available. Now, she is doing what she was always meant to.

“Nursing directors oversee daily operations, including staffing, workflow and scheduling. We assist on the floor at times if needed. What don’t we do?” says Scatton.

More than anything, though, Scatton is an advocate for her colleagues.

“I have the best colleagues,” she says. “The people I’ve worked with from when I started 17 years ago all the way through now are what makes LVH–Hazleton especially such a great place to work. It’s like a family and you have the support of being part of a larger health network. It sounds cliché, but my colleagues are kind, caring and compassionate. They really have become my family.”

Back to school

In 2023, Scatton earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and will soon begin classes to earn an MBA in health care management with the help of LVHN’s tuition reimbursement program.

A lifelong student, Scatton also took advantage of a professional development opportunity offered by LVHN and Northampton Community College (NCC). She completed courses for free and will earn a management certificate through NCC in April of this year.

Her advice for nursing students in the thick of schooling? Keep going.

“Nursing school is so hard,” she says. “Long hours, long nights of studying, but the career is so rewarding. I go home and I think to myself, ‘We brought a patient back after a code,’ and there’s nothing like that feeling – knowing you saved someone’s life. I’ll never regret my career path – it’s always been nursing.”

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