Director of Nursing Operations
For the past forty-four years, St. Elizabeth School of Nursing alumni Jody Mathew has served Greater Lafayette as part of the Franciscan Alliance team. A 1978 graduate of St. Elizabeth School of Nursing who was born and raised in Lafayette, Jody went on to complete her master’s degree in nursing administration at Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis in 1997 and is certified in Catholic Biomedical Ethics. As director of Nursing Operations at Franciscan Health - Lafayette East, Jody feels called to not only care for patients, but also the nurses she has been called to lead.
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
Believe it or not, my mother saw nursing as a potential career choice for me before I did. She recognized something in me that led her to believe I would make a good nurse, and I’m so thankful she did.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ATTEND ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING?
Having St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in my hometown was a huge advantage financially for my parents and me. I could live at home and attend classes on campus.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW NURSES?
Be open to learning because it never stops once you leave school. Medicine changes. Technology changes. Don’t be afraid to dig into topics that interest you and do a little research on your own. Also, communicate with your coworkers. It will help you and them be successful.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
St. Elizabeth gave me a strong foundation. Clinical and hands-on time was more available here as a student than what is offered at other schools. St Elizabeth did a great job of providing me with both a clinical and a theoretical foundation. They taught me how to walk through experiences, learn from them, and be successful.
IF YOU WEREN'T A NURSE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I think no matter what career I chose if I weren’t a nurse, I would have tended towards some type of leadership position. In what area? I’m not sure. That’s another thing I love about how versatile nursing can be. There are so many opportunities for change and challenge right here in our field. You could become a bedside nurse or go into quality, regulatory compliance or case management. There are hospital settings, doctors’ offices, and outpatient locations to choose from as well and those are just for starters!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE FIELD AFTER YOU COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE?
I was a staff nurse in a mixed unit containing ICU, CCU, as well as PCU.
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
I am the director of operations over the Emergency Room, Observation Unit, the Center of Hope and the Trauma Department at Franciscan Health Lafayette East. Within my role, I also work with nursing regulatory compliance, quality in nursing, best practices and the ethics committee. At times, I serve on different teams to lend a hand when needed.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CURRENT JOB?
I love the diversity of what I do. I have the opportunity to serve and work with an amazing staff who are nothing but hard workers with open hearts. They do a fantastic job each and every day.
WHAT POPULATIONS DO YOU SERVE?
Our hospital serves those in the Greater Lafayette Area, of all ages, who come to us with their medical needs.
WHAT'S THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT BEING A NURSE?
As nurses, we miss some big moments in our personal lives. It’s not just you who sacrifices, but your entire family. My children grew up respecting and understanding the fact that what I do as a nurse is missional and understood that sacrifice.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR NURSING PRACTICE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE SCHOOL'S MISSION OF PREPARING NURSES TO CONTINUE IN CHRIST'S HEALING MINISTRY?
What nurses bring to the table—caring for others—is one of our strongest values. My education at St. Elizabeth enhanced who I already was at my core and who I have continued to be to this day.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?
I love spending time with my grandkids. I enjoy quilting and reading, too. My husband and I go to the gym together and enjoy traveling whenever we have the chance to get away and spend time together.