For nursing students, hospitals tend to become their home away from home. The best nursing students make hands-on work at the hospital their priority.
Tregg Geren graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Missouri State University in 1992.
“At that time, the focus of the program was very community-based, instead of giving students experience within hospitals,” Geren reflected.
He went on to receive his nursing degree from St. John’s College of Nursing and Master of Business Administration from Webster University.
In January 2022, Geren accepted the position of chief operating officer for Citizens Memorial Hospital District after enjoying his time serving as the chief nursing officer.
Learning the ropes in a leadership position
Geren’s new responsibilities include radiology and laboratory on the clinical side of things. He works mostly with support staff, which gives him a glimpse at the way other departments operate.
“To see how things work behind the scenes and hear the way that the staff deal with situations is extremely different than how a clinical department would,” Geren said. “It has been quite interesting so far.”
Geren recommends current nursing students or recent graduates obtain as much hands-on experience as possible. Eat, sleep and breathe all things hospital related.
“Particularly if you don’t have any background in health care, it’s essential to apply for a position like a nursing assistant either before, during or after you’re in nursing school,” he urged.
For Geren, his extensive experience is what has landed him several leadership positions within the medical field.
“There’s such a valuable element that’s added because nursing students have done the grunt work and are much more well-rounded in their approach.”