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Phoenix Forward

College of Nursing graduate named “Notable Nurse” by Nurse.com

Nursing students studying

An accomplished nurse throughout her long career, Sally Grimm, RN, MSN, CEN has advanced to the highest levels of the profession by letting her actions do the talking.

“I don’t like to toot my own horn,” says Grimm, a Master of Science in Nursing graduate of University of Phoenix who was recently named a Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia-area “Notable Nurse” by Nurse.com. “I prefer to fly under the radar.”  

The quiet, reserved Grimm is no stranger to nursing accolades, however. Nurse.com first took notice of her work in 2010, when she was named a finalist for regional Nurse.com Nursing Excellence Awards in the teaching category.

“My hospital director at Anne Arundel Medical Center nominated me for that award after I completely revamped the clinical training program for the emergency department,” she explains. “Any new RN in our hospital goes through our new nurse orientation and additional specialty training before going out on the unit, and that’s especially important in the emergency department (ED).”

What we more seasoned nurses should focus on as much as possible is nurturing and encouraging the next generation of nurses.

Training and mentoring the next generation of nurses has been a central focus throughout Grimm’s nursing career. “There’s this old adage in the nursing profession, that ‘we eat our young,’” she says. “What we more-seasoned nurses should focus on as much as possible is nurturing and encouraging the next generation of nurses, taking advantage of every opportunity to teach and share our experience.”

Leveraging her years of experience as a critical care nurse and peer educator only went so far, however. “By my 50s, I was working as a clinical educator in the ED, and I felt it was time to ramp up my education to a level more appropriate for that role,” says Grimm. “But at that age I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in a classroom, which is why I chose the University of Phoenix online option for my MSN.”

Grimm believes that the online course environment helped make her a better communicator. “I think online degree programs require more self-discipline than a traditional classroom environment,” she says. “And they also challenge you to express yourself more succinctly, and to be more of a deep thinker. Both skills serve me well as a nurse manager.”

Having completed her MSN degree in 2010, Grimm moved away from nursing education/patient care and into a managerial role for the first time in her 30-year career. “At first I was reluctant to walk away from the educational side of things and into management,” she says. “But then I discovered that leadership itself is a form of teaching. I manage 210 people, mentor them, play to their strengths, and push them to be better nurses and staff. Recognizing how well my own staff does measures how well I’m doing my own job.”

Grimm’s modesty and her commitment to nursing’s next generation make her remarkable. “Today’s young nurses are the future of our profession,” she says. “They’ll be taking care of us someday, and therefore we owe them our knowledge, guidance, honesty and encouragement.”