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Doing It Better: Christina McGuirk, RN, BSN, MSHA, NEA-BC, CENP Chief Nursing Officer, Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital

When Christina McGuirk was eight years old, she experienced a hospital stay that would shape the rest of her life. The ordeal was a distressing one, and because of an interaction she had with a nurse, she decided then and there that she would one day become an outstanding RN. “I made a vow that under my care, patients would not feel helpless, scared and embarrassed,” she says. 

Twenty-seven years into her nursing career, Christina has lived out that promise she made to herself. She is now chief nursing officer at Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital. Her story illustrates how our motivations and choices are molded by experiences both positive and negative — and at times, from a very young age.   

From the day she interviewed to join the team at Orlando Health, she sensed it would be a great fit for her. “They asked me about my passion and my connections,” she says. 

What motivates Christina still aligns with the vow she made decades ago, one that she carries out during every shift. “Making a positive impact on someone’s day is what I love about my job,” she says. “That includes not just my patients, but their families and my team members.” 

Although she may have found her calling early, Christina still stumbled into difficulties and doubts along the way. “As a new nurse, I remember slipping into the bathroom several times, crying and questioning if I’d made the right choice,” she says. But she trusted her path and persevered through those challenges. Today, there’s no doubt in her mind. “I definitely made the right choice.” 

Christina’s advice to nurses just entering the field is to have confidence, trust and a sense of adventure. “You can do it! Be open to where your path takes you in your career,” she says. “There are so many possibilities. When I first started, what I thought I would do was not close to where my path took me. I am so grateful.”

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