My Story Started at GRCC: Jacki Fuller gained skills to become director of nursing at Spectrum Health Hospitals Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

Jacki Fuller credits GRCC for the nursing skills she uses every day and for helping her develop a trait that’s equally essential: leadership.

As director of nursing at Spectrum Health Hospitals Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, she oversees care for 140 patients and supervises a staff of about 150, including registered and licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, nurse managers, nurse supervisors, doctors, case managers, a nurse educator, and a specialist in infection prevention.

Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.

Fuller appreciates the leadership classes she took at GRCC.

“Being a leader is incredibly multifaceted, especially in the world of nursing,” she said. 

The hands-on training through clinicals and the simulation labs prepared her for patient care, but it was the Nursing Program’s work in the community that had a special impact.

“I was able to see real health issues and disparities that people in my own community are facing,” Fuller said. “Being able to contribute to improving those issues as a nursing student was impactful in my journey.”

A trip to Costa Rica with her cohort in the Associate Degree Nursing program is a favorite memory.

“This was eye opening!” she said. “It was incredible to see how the people in Costa Rica live and what little access to health care they have. Our time volunteering made a huge difference in their lives.”

Fuller graduated with her associate degree in Nursing in 2016, after first earning her Licensed Practical Nurse certification in 2013. She had worked with Spectrum Health during a clinical rotation and knew she wanted to build a career there.

“I worked as a bedside nurse for a few years while also going back to GRCC for my ADN,” she said. “During this time, I was offered a position as a nurse supervisor. I continued in the nurse supervisor role for two years and then moved into a nurse manager role. I recently moved from the nurse manager role into the director of nursing role.”

Fuller, who completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing last year through Capella University and plans to complete her master’s there in December, leans on what she learned at GRCC every day.

“GRCC is a great size,” she said. “They have the tools and resources to provide a quality education but also aren’t so large that I felt like a number. I truly felt like I was valued, and my success was important.”

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