Nurse Spotlight: Leading the Next Generation of Nurses

May 03, 2024

Helping Nurses to Succeed

When you meet Justin Griffin, BSN, RN, a clinical nurse educator in the emergency department at Winchester Hospital, one of the first things you’ll realize is that he loves what he does for work.

“I've always said I'm going to be a nurse when I'm 99 years old,” Griffin said. “I truly never see myself doing anything else. There is something really rewarding about taking care of other people.”

Justin has known since he was young that he wanted a career that allowed him to help people.

“I was always the kid who got hurt playing a sport or had some sort of medical problem,” he said. “So I was always around healthcare professionals, and that’s kind of what drew me in. People were taking care of me, so I wanted to make sure patients were being cared for like I was.”

When he joined Winchester Hospital as an environmental services worker in 2008, it was like a dream come true. While he didn’t start his healthcare career as a nurse, it was this experience that allowed him to see firsthand the amazing work the nurses do for their patients.

It convinced him to take the next step in his career.

“I started in environmental services, and that kind of gave me a global picture of nursing and healthcare,” he said. “I saw the fast pace, I saw the movement and I saw all the care they provided from one corner of my eye to the other. And that's what kind of really solidified me going to nursing school.”

Making the Jump to Nursing When Patients Needed it Most

After receiving his degree in nursing, Justin chose to return to where it all started: Winchester Hospital. Rejoining the staff at Winchester, this time as a nurse, was deeply gratifying.

“When I came back as a new grad, I was able to give back to the hospital that gave me everything,” he said. “I felt so warm and welcomed.”

Justin started his new job in March 2020, which was, as it turned out, no ordinary time to make a career switch in healthcare. He soon learned that the normal challenges of being a nurse were compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But in the end, the experience was invaluable.

“It absolutely made me a better nurse,” he said. “It strengthened my nursing assessments, it strengthened the care I was able to give, and it made me think more critically about how to provide the best care possible.”

Helping Nurses Reach Their Full Potential

Justin recently switched into his current role as a clinical nurse educator, where he provides training, onboarding and continuous learning to new grads, novices and other providers.

He transitioned to this new position, he said, because he “really wanted to focus in on these new grads and make sure that they’re getting every single tool they need to be successful.”

But the part he finds most fulfilling is watching new grads grow into their roles and become better, more compassionate versions of themselves.

“I love to see their growth,” he said. “Many of them come in and they might not have the right experience. But watching people grow their confidence and grow their skills, that’s the most rewarding part of this job.”

Take the next step in your career at Beth Israel Lahey Health.