Jesselle Romero is a Registered Practical Nurse who is currently the Director of Care at Pearl and Pine Retirement Residence in Burlington, Ontario.
Jesselle’s mother was a nurse and always wanted her to go into nursing; Jesselle initially was not interested but kept the idea at the back of her mind. When she started nursing, Jesselle enrolled in the RN program and later switched into the RPN program. Previously, she was in the real estate sector for 9 years and has been nursing since graduating from Sheridan College in 2009.
Jesselle chose to work in geriatrics and the retirement sector from her deeply personal experience of caring for her grandmother in the hospital. She was able to understand the patient’s perspective of care and she realized she wanted to make a difference and advocate for this population of patients as she experienced the marginalisation of our geriatric population first hand. During her preceptorship, she was the first student to be hired in her placement and she had the opportunity to work right away on a temporary license with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) pending successful completion of her CPNRE. Her career path is very inspiring for RPNs as it demonstrates that there really is no limit to what an RPN can do. Jesselle helped with opening a health care agency in Toronto called Brightstar care (predominant in the USA) and became the branch manager only 2 years into her career as a nurse (2011). Only a year after that in 2012, she was recruited to be a director for Chartwell, the largest retirement home in Ontario. These leadership opportunities allowed Jesselle to advocate for change and make her voice be heard in the retirement sector, she brought forward issues that needed to be addressed.
She is a believer in taking on challenges and a strong advocate for the role of the RPN. Her educational background prior to nursing includes one year of the Bachelor of Computers program at University of Toronto. After registering as a practical nurse, she has been continuing her education by achieving the designation for the Non Acute Care Infection Control Professional (NAC ICP), the General Managers and Administrator Certificate from Chartwell and she is a member of IPACs. Her future goals are to attain a government position, such as with the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) or to have a more corporate role where she can still incorporate her management and nursing skills. Jesselle states that “Any medical profession is important but Nurses are the underlying experts behind each specialist/doctor. They are the proof checkers behind orders. And the true advocates for their patients. Being an RPN is important because they have the hands on training opposed to the theory.” Aside from nursing, Jesselle has interests in travelling, reading and music; she also has two dogs.