For 25 years, Dawndra Jones has dedicated her career to nursing and patient care, advancing in leadership roles and at the same time, investing in her own passion for education. When Dr. Jones was named vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at UPMC McKeesport nearly two years ago, it opened the next chapter of many in her UPMC journey.
Dr. Jones started her UPMC career as a staff nurse on a general surgical nursing unit at UPMC Shadyside. With assistance from UPMC’s tuition reimbursement program, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in nursing, followed by a master’s in nursing, and most recently, a doctorate degree in nursing practice, all the while holding various nursing positions throughout UPMC.
She has served as executive director of clinical operations at UPMC Mercy, vice president of nursing workforce planning, senior director of UPMC’s Center for Nursing Excellence and Innovation, and director of UPMC Vital Staffing, UPMC’s internal nursing agency.
“I am an example of how a UPMC employee can take advantage of the rich benefits offered to us and achieve a lifelong career within UPMC,” said Dr. Jones. She maintains her work with the UPMC Nurse Inclusion Council and the UPMC Diversity Leadership network, and has created a network of support that allowed her to thrive and achieve success, and that she believes enables young employees to make the most of their careers.
“Believe in yourself and seek a mentor and advocates who believe in you, too. Take advantage of our education benefits and be an active learner as you advance your career,” said Dr. Jones. “The opportunities for advancement are here for you.”