Communication, Compassion are keys to successful nurse team


After 11 years at Rockcastle Regional, Angela Roberts, RN, became the associate director of nursing in September of 2022.

She leads a team of 81 nursing staff on the long-term ventilator care unit. We asked her about her new position, her team, and what it's like to work for Rockcastle Regional; her answers are below.
Pictured are some of the nursing staff. From left, Austin Hubbard, SRNA; Anna Eversole, LPN; Angela Roberts, ADON, BSN, RN; Jessica McFerron, BSN, RN, WCC; Cerri Harbison, RN; Kimberly Lawson, LPN.

What do you think nurses like about working on the ventilator unit?

Our ventilator units have a tight-knit structure to them. Our nurses work cohesively and enjoy the family atmosphere we have with our patients. The nurses receive our residents at a vulnerable time in their lives and develop an attachment to them and their family members. 

What is some of your most important advice/guidance for nurses who are new, or are new to the ventilator unit?

My most important advice is to take advantage of your resources and ask lots of questions! Communication is key to the succes of the team and ultimately the patients, so never hesitate to ask for help when needed.


What are the keys to success in being a good nurse?

The keys to success in being a good nurse lie in good communication skills, compassion, and advocating for your patients. 


Describe the work environment at Rockcastle Regional.

I have worked various roles throughout my nursing profession and encountered various work atmospheres. I value developing close relationships with my patients, their families, and my staff. Rockcastle provides a work environment that supports us professionally and personally. You cannot find this perfect blend just anywhere, but we all support each other here and function like a family.


What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your new position, so far?

The most rewarding part of my new job so far is building a supportive team that really collaborates with each other to improve patient outcomes. Sharing my experience and knowledge to the newer generation of nurses is extremely rewarding, and it allows me to be a part of developing the nursing workforce for future success. When nurses succeed and excel at their roles, patient outcomes and experiences improve as well. It generates a win-win!


The most challenging aspect so far has been staffing, something every healthcare facility currently faces. However, we are making great strides in that area and look forward to this next year together - we have begun implementing several projects to improve staff recognition and developing more of a "learning together" atmosphere.