U of A Graduate Moves Quickly Into Hospital’s Top Nursing Leadership Post
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in the Arkansas Alumni Association magazine.
A little more than 10 years ago, Meredith Green graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and began working as a floor nurse at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. Now, Green is senior vice president and chief nursing officer of the hospital that employs about 800 nurses.
The hospital announced Green’s appointment to the position in late August and, she is spending time getting to know all of the departments and people.
“As chief nursing officer, I want to ensure we meet the hospital’s mission of providing high-quality care,” Green said. “The community is our family. We don’t see a patient in a hospital bed; we see our family member.”
Green came back to the U of A Eleanor Mann School of Nursing to earn a Master of Science in Nursing that allowed her to receive credentials as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in adult and geriatric health. She had been working at Washington Regional a few years when she moved into a clinical educator role, teaching other nurses.
In 2012, she was chosen for a Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society leadership program in which she developed a course to teach nursing staff advanced cardiovascular life support techniques for obstetric emergencies.
“It’s important to consider how care should be tailored to each individual’s needs,” Green said. “We want to ensure we deliver the best care to each patient.”
Green has served in various leadership roles throughout the hospital, including as administrative director of Women and Infants Services. In that role, she helped to plan the five-story Women and Infants Center that opened at Washington Regional last year.
“We added more than 100 new staff members,” Green said. “It’s a hospital within a hospital. We had to make sure we had the equipment we needed and that the staff had the education they needed.”
A Prairie Grove native, Green said she became a nurse because she felt a calling to serve others. She discovered a love for teaching after she began working at the hospital. And, she was given the chance to build her administrative skills.
“Washington Regional invests in the staff,” she said. “There is room for advancement and growth. The culture brings you back every day.”
Green advises students to understand the importance of continually learning, whether on the job or on their own time.
“Don’t put limits on yourself,” she said. “Challenge yourself to learn and be involved in professional organizations. Stay active and current. It is important to know the standards and guidelines of your profession.”
Her peers at the hospital selected Green as Director of the Year in 2017 and 2016 and as Nurse of the Year in Women’s Services in 2009. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences presented her the ANGELS Award for Outstanding Service to Obstetrical Nursing.
Nursing is about using evidence to guide your practice, Green said. Sometimes, it is about not being satisfied with the status quo. Nurses often spend a lot of time with patients and their families and, in addition to caring for physical needs, also empathize with and educate them.
“A lot of times, it’s unexpected when you go to the hospital and the patient and family can feel vulnerable and afraid of the unknown,” Green said. “One of our roles is to be a steady, constant caregiver, a helper in time of need.”