Un Jeoung, who goes by Unj, started her nursing career in Hawaii. When she moved to Washington, she discovered many great hospitals in the Seattle area. She followed the recommendation of a colleague who endorsed Swedish, and now she can’t imagine herself working anywhere else.
“I learned a lot over 19 years at a nationally renowned hospital in Hawaii. When I came to Swedish, I learned there’s so much more innovation,” she says.
Unj joined the Issaquah campus when it first opened in 2011 and she’s been there ever since. She started as a charge nurse, bedside ICU, telenurse, and house float, then moved up to administrative nursing supervisor, and then manager. “Swedish gave me opportunity to move up the ladder, to grow,” she says.
Unj believes Providence Swedish is a great place to start your career, and that her role as a nurse manager is to help each person on her team succeed. She explains, “I am there to guide them, coach them, enrich them, educate them to go on in this career.”
She continues, “I tell my staff all the time that, ‘No one really stays at medical surgical unit forever. I am like your launchpad, come here, get experienced, and learn, and grow, and let me know what else you want to do. And I’ll help you to get there.’”
Unj describes Providence Swedish as a one-stop shopping mall in the sense that “It’s a big enough system that we can help you to get whatever you’ve been dreamed of in nursing.”
Providence Vice President of Talent Experience and Development Darci Hall agrees, “We recognize that caregivers are more engaged if they have development opportunities, so we are working hard to continue building out robust libraries, create opportunities for stretch assignments and up-skill our current caregivers.”
To help nurses grow their careers within Providence, the Clinical Academy was created to standardize RN residencies and fellowships across the organization. Currently we have 22 specialties in the program, including tracks in nursing leadership, clinical education, ambulatory and community care settings, offering extensive opportunities for nurses to change and advance their careers throughout Providence. Since 2016, we’ve had more than 13,000 RNs enroll in the program. First year turnover for RNs in the Academy is 9.5 to 11 percent compared to approximately 25 percent for RNs not in the Academy.
Unj explains that once nurses gain enough experience as a Medical Surgical RN and are comfortable taking care of general patients, they may want to advance their skills. And there’s an array of learning and development opportunities. For example, within the oncology unit, she will ask nurses, “Now do you want to step up to be a chemo nurse?” Not only does Swedish offer a chemo class, but they pay for all of the nurse’s education time, which is usually close to 30 hours. “It’s a great opportunity, and I’ve never seen anybody who regretted doing that.”
In addition to helping nurses grow within their unit, Unj is happy to connect nurses with other departments as well. “If anybody came to me saying, ‘My dream is to become a Labor and Delivery nurse.’ I’d tell them, ‘Let me connect you with the department leader so you can start talking. And if you truly love that field, then go for it.’”
Unj explains that all of these efforts are driven by a commitment to caregiver well-being and a desire to support caregivers in their daily lives. “Swedish has very great culture that you cannot find in other hospitals. Swedish really values each human being, and that applies not only to the patients and families, but to staff members as well.”
If you’re interested in exploring where you can go as a nurse at Swedish, view all roles.