For her passion and dedication in the field of long-term care, Roxan Vincent, director of nurses at Vienna Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, was recently named the California Association of Health Facilities’ Nurse of the Year.

“I knew they nominated me but I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “There’s 1,200 long-term care facilities in California and so when we found out, I was like ‘Oh my God. What have I done to deserve this?’”

Vincent said this recognition is another milestone for the Vienna family and recognized the support that she receives on a daily basis from the owner, administrator and co-workers.

Vienna Administrator Corey Wright said it was an honor to have a nurse at the center recognized.

“Of course I know she’s an awesome nurse so I wouldn’t expect less from her,” Wright said. “She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty even today as the top manager of the nursing department when it comes to getting in there and doing what needs to be done to take care of the patient. Roxan is dedicated to the patients, the families and the staff that she oversees and to Vienna.”

Kenneth Heffel, owner of Vienna, agreed.

“She does a great jobs and is in control of large group of nurses and the results are shown in the quality of the facility that we have. It’s a lot to do with her,” Heffel said.

Ever since she was a little girl, Vincent knew she wanted to provide medical care.

“I’m from the Philippines and we were always taking care of our people that are old. Growing up I had family that were nurses and we had a family friend that was a doctor, and I was just really impressed with what they were doing, taking care of the sick at home and in the hospital,” Vincent said.

Vincent has been in the nursing industry for a little over two decades. Her nursing career has covered the skilled nursing and geriatrics fields.

Vincent graduated from the Mary Chiles School of Nursing in the Philippines with a bachelor of science in nursing in 1994. She began working at Vienna in 2008 as a nursing supervisor and was later promoted to director of nurses in 2008.

“The culture in the place is so different,” she said. “I would attribute that to the ownership and management because it’s locally and privately owned. You can feel and see that the owner truly cares and that they want the best for their patients.”

Vincent currently oversees a staff of more than 180 people at the center.

“It’s very rewarding for us when a family member or a patient will tell us that we made a difference in their lives,” Vincent said.

According to Vincent, a typical day working as the director of nurses can get really busy.

“You come in, it’s very busy. They need you everywhere. A family member needs you, a doctor wants to talk to you and at the end of the day you look at your check list and then you go ‘Oh my God, I only accomplished one thing off of my list.’ Even though there is a lot of pressure in my day-to-day work, it’s very rewarding and I enjoy it because you don’t even notice the time has gone by.”

In addition to overseeing her nursing staff, Vincent said she tries to maintain an open-door policy for anyone who has concerns.

Vincent said for those looking to get into the nursing field, they have to be in it for more than just the money because “you have to have a heart and you have to be compassionate to be in the nursing field because you’re dealing with people’s lives.”

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