Alumni Profiles: America Jones
America Jones, chief executive officer of Kindred Hospital El Paso, dreamed of becoming an electrical engineer, but her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis altered her career plans. Her grandmother’s nurse inspired Jones to change her major and become a nurse. Here the hospital administrator explains how her UTEP education prepared her for a rewarding career.
UTEP Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Science in Nursing Systems Management (NSM)
Were you the first in your family to earn a college degree?
What sparked your interest in nursing?
After high school, my grandmother who raised me was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. During her care, I was exposed to the medical and nursing profession. The holistic and compassionate care provided by the hospice nurse during that time inspired me to change my major from electrical engineering to Nursing. I found my calling in the most unexpected of circumstances. Becoming a nurse has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have made in my professional career.
Why did you pick UTEP’s nursing program?
UTEP was known for having an exemplary nursing program. I grew up in El Paso and always aspired to attend a university. It was an honor and a privilege to attend and receive my bachelor’s degree in nursing at UTEP. The education I received prepared me not only to be a competent nurse, but it also inspired me to continue to excel academically. I always knew that when I was ready to complete my master’s degree that it would be at UTEP. I returned and completed a Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Systems Management.
How has your UTEP education helped you succeed?
The education I received at UTEP prepared me to provide compassionate nursing care to my patients throughout my career. It also helped provide the foundation for me to apply for leadership roles and grow professionally. My master’s degree provided the education requirements to be a chief nursing officer of a hospital in Texas and with my years of experience to grow in my career path to the CEO position that I currently hold at Kindred Hospital.
What are some of your professional accomplishments?
I received a Nursing Excellence Award from the Visiting Nurses Association and have participated in many community health initiatives to promote wellness. I am passionate about creating quality and regulatory excellence in healthcare and am a strong advocate for the nursing profession. Kindred Hospital El Paso has been ranked as one of the highest performing hospitals in both quality and service excellence amongst our other long-term acute care hospitals.
Briefly describe your role as CEO of Kindred Hospital?
As the CEO for Kindred Hospital El Paso, I am responsible for the strategic planning, managing, and controlling of the overall operations of the hospital. I provide leadership to an amazing team of professionals to ensure attainment of strategic objectives and the delivery of quality health care services. Together we have shaped Kindred Hospital El Paso as a center of excellence for patients who require ventilator weaning, extensive wound care, and specialized complex medical management.