Career Growth at Echoing Hills
Caring, organized, and hardworking are three words to describe Laura Long. These qualities also make her perfect for her position as Director of Nursing for Echoing Hills’ Northeast region. Nursing, however, was not something Laura had planned to explore.
Growing up, Laura’s mom was a single mom. She worked midnights as a nurse, often bringing Laura to work with her.
“I would go to the hospital with my mom and help by getting drinks for patients, responding to call lights, and more,” recalls Laura. “I told myself I would never follow in her footsteps; however, look where I am now. My mom just retired last year after 43 years in the profession. I am so proud of her!”
Laura started with Echoing Hills as an LPN in 2011. At the time, the market was very competitive. Laura put her application in everywhere. Once she started with the organization, she knew it was where she belonged.
“The individuals we serve and those I serve alongside are incredible,” Laura shares. “I like being a nurse at Echoing Hills because you get to know the people you serve on a deep level. The ministry also cares about its employees – we are not just a number here. We are valued and heard.”
Journey From LPN to RN
After beginning her career, Laura knew she wanted to grow in the profession. Completing a bridge program through Excelsior College, she graduated as an RN in 2021. During that process, the former Director of Nursing kept her going.
“Eileen was a big cheerleader of mine, encouraging me along the way. I am looking into returning for my Masters in Healthcare Systems Management. She is encouraging me now too!”
Going back to school while working is a lot of work; however, worth it, according to Laura. She found ways to make it work, like setting aside hours during the week devoted to nothing but school and working on assignments during breaks. Laura is grateful for the support from Echoing Hills – staff encouragement, flexibility, and the tuition reimbursement program.
Although hard work, Laura has this to share with others considering returning to school.
“If it is your dream, don’t give up! It may take longer than you expect. Or take a different direction than you planned, but go with the flow. Always remember, where there is a will, there is a way.”
More About Laura
When not working or going to school, you can find Laura spending time with her husband of ten years. Together, they have two children and enjoy watching movies together. They just made a movie theater with a concession stand in their home.
Laura also enjoys reading, being near water, and riding her horse, Taz.