Graduate Q&A with Registered Nursing Graduate Sydney
Sydney Bynum is a 2019 graduate of Carrington College’s RN program in Boise. Since graduating, she has already become Director of Nursing at River’s Edge in Emmett, ID. A mother of three in a military family, Sydney’s journey with nursing spans work with the military and skilled facilities where she practiced a variety of skills with several populations but feels drawn to working with elders.
“Sydney always went out of her way to help other students, even if she was struggling herself,” says Linda Peterson, MHS, BSN, RN, Clinical Coordinator/Faculty at Carrington. “She was voted by her peers to be their Class Rep for student council because she believed in speaking up when things needed attention. She always had a smile on her face and was so very supportive and empathetic. She strives for the best because she is the best. A truly gifted nurse. I’m so very proud of her!”
Here, she tells Carrington about how she chose a career in nursing, her experience with Carrington, the importance of perseverance, and what it means to her to be a healer.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a single mother of three. A 23-year-old girl, 14-year-old girl, and 13-year-old boy. I have suffered much in my time, being married to an active duty member and living through deployments as his wife through OIF/OEF 1, 2, and 4. I first became a home health aide, then CNA, then LPN in February 2001. After 18 years I returned to school at Carrington Boise to complete my ADN and passed the NCLEX-RN in February of 2020. Throughout my nursing journeys, I have worked as a Civil Service nurse for the Department of the Navy, Army, Veteran’s Affairs, and a few skilled facilities along the way. I was very fortunate to have been an LPN trained and educated by military hospitals working in many units. To name a few: Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Women’s Health, Cardiac Med-Surg, Progressive Care Units, Ortho, and Burn. I have been an Ensign employed nurse since August 2017. I began my Ensign journey at Meadow View in Nampa, ID, and moved up through the ranks so to say from unit nurse to unit manager and now have been the Director of Nursing Services at River’s Edge since Feb 2021. It has not been an easy road and has taken many moments of prayer asking for guidance in making career moves and choices. No matter what avenue I took over the last 20+ years in health care, I always drift back to the geriatric population. I have been known to say, I just love my oldies.
Have you always been interested in nursing?
I was originally interested in trauma medicine and as I experienced healthcare I realized I would rather make a difference in every moment of my day. I was meant to be a healer.
When did you decide to pursue a career in nursing?
In 2000, I was accepted to a vocational school in Vista, CA named Maric College.
What were you doing before enrolling at Carrington?
Working as unit manager at Meadow View.
Why did you choose to attend Carrington?
I wanted to finish my requirements to take the NCLEX-RN and this program became accredited and was the best option for myself and my family at the time.
How did the Carrington program prepare you for your career?
It prepared me for the immense amount of paperwork and research I do on a daily basis. It prepared me for managing a career geared towards leadership.
Tell us about your current work.
I am responsible for the entire medical side of a Skilled Facility. Currently, we have 44 beds full with 5 of them being Rehab, the remainder long-term care.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Assisting the unit nurses in care management, learning how to lead, providing support for my floor staff of all factions, and coordinating care between all providers and other disciplines required to provide care for each resident. I do also enjoy building a successful team.
What do you find most challenging?
Staffing, and I do recognize this is an issue across the board.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your duties?
Infection control management has become grueling. The transmission-based precautions can wear on the staff and discourage not just them, but families and residents as well.
What’s the best part about being a DON?
Knowing I made a difference in how an employee feels about coming to work.
Was there a moment in your career that reinforced that you made the right decision to work in nursing?
Too many to count. From caring for children to soldiers injured in combat, to the aging population.
Is there a Carrington instructor or staff member that you’d like to acknowledge?
Linda Peterson! That woman picked me up in many times of sadness and reassured me to know I was doing so well and to keep going.
Was there any advice you received or a motto you used to get through school?
Keep on keeping on. And, We are here now, might as well do the damn thing.
What advice do you have for students in school now?
Keep going; it is totally worth it!
What do you want people to know about going to Carrington?
It is so worth it! It is worth rearranging your life for a short time. It is worth the long hours and frustrations!
What advice do you have for people interested in going into nursing, or going to school?
Take the not-so-good with the great and know you make a difference in someone’s life every single day. There will be sad days and hard days, but you will experience growth and happiness along with a sense of pride that trumps those days tenfold! It is a calling!