Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's
This story is part of a series, spotlighting Phoenix Children’s employees from across our healthcare system for their role in continuing support of our mission to provide hope, healing and the best healthcare for children and their families
Meet Shawna Baggs, a longtime Phoenix Children’s employee. She works as the clinical services manager for Phoenix Children’s Mercy Gilbert Pediatric Inpatient Unit and serves in the community as a member of the board for Positive Paths, supporting the mentorship committee, and chairs the Positive Paths’ Auxiliary Board. Positive Paths is a nonprofit that supports East Valley women through scholarship, mentorship. economic stability, personal growth and professional achievement.
“When I interviewed for the manager position, I asked this question to the medical director I was interviewing with, ‘What would success in this role look like?’’’ The answer Shawna received surprised her. “He said the person taking this role will need to serve as a bridge between Phoenix Children’s and the community,” said Shawna. After the interview, she thought about what that meant and worked hard to do just that.
An opportunity came for her to serve as a nursing mentor with the nonprofit Positive Paths, an organization that supports women through mentorship programs, scholarships, and supportive services. “I felt like this opportunity was a perfect fit for me with my passion for nursing and my desire to be an active and present member in my community,” said Shawna. “I needed to be a bridge to the community we serve.”
Through her work with Positive Paths, Shawna has met women who have survived childhood trauma and neglect. “It has always been my goal as a representative of Phoenix Children’s in the East Valley to not only care for children when they are sick, but to promote wellness in the community and in the families we serve,” said Shawna. “The trickle-down effects of helping at-risk women succeed through furthering their education and helping them transition into the workforce are endless.”
One of the ways Shawna is able to help these women is through professional development. “When I became a nurse manager, my goal was to create an environment where our nurses could provide the safest and most quality care as well as develop and grow in their profession,” said Shawna.
She also took this same practice into her community.
“My personal professional development has been reliant on those caring for me and taking an interest in assisting me with my growth,” said Shawna “Now, to be at a place where I can provide this for others is really what makes everything that I do feel so worthwhile.
Today, Shawna believes mentorship is no longer an option for leaders, but a necessity.
“I did not get to where I am today without someone believing in me, someone giving me that little nudge to push a little harder and to believe in myself,” said Shawna. “It’s my hope that in being a mentor for others, I can help develop the next generation of nurses coming into the profession.”
During her nearly 28 years at Phoenix Children’s, Shawna had a nurse manager who once told her about the “art of nursing,” that described a new nurse as holding a paint brush. The mentor is there to offer support and suggestions as the new nurse grows into her role and develops her own masterpiece. “That has been a perfect example of my career at Phoenix Children’s,” said Shawna. “My growth is directly linked to working with all of the ‘artists’ that are developed, grown and nurtured here.”
Now, Shawna has realized her commitment to not only supporting children inside the health system, but those in the community as well. “There are three things in my life that I am most proud of,” Shawna says: “My family, my career with Phoenix Children’s and my work with Positive Paths. I am who I am today because of the opportunities each of these have afforded me.”