Meet Bill Campbell MBA, BSN, RN, CEN

Nashville General Hospital Trauma Program Manager

by Nashville General Hospital
Nashville General Hospital Trauma Program Manager

During his 27 year career in health care, Bill Campbell, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, has had the opportunity to explore the many aspects of being a nurse.

“I've done so much,” says Bill. “I’ve worked in the emergency room, I spent 13 years flying on a helicopter, I've done trauma management, I’ve taken care of people at their bedside and I’ve been a director. Choosing to become a nurse gave me the opportunity for a great career.”

The desire to become a nurse came when Bill was in elementary school. His grandmother had a friend who was an emergency room nurse. When the nurse spoke to his class during a career fair, Bill become fascinated by her stories and the things she got to do as a nurse.

“I must have been in 5th or 6th grade when my grandmother’s friend came to our school,” adds Bill. “Her story was so powerful that after I completed a year as a biology major in college I decided I needed to follow my calling and moved over to nursing school. My grandmother also helped with the decision. When I was young she always told me that I have such a kind heart, I should be a nurse.”

Bill, who recently joined the Nashville General Hospital team, appreciates how the staff works together to take care of and focus on the wellbeing of the patients. This includes programs like Nashville General’s Food Pharmacy and Health Literacy Forum

“Other hospitals don’t have what we have here. It’s like a one-stop shop,” says Bill. “As a nurse, we get to take care of people and help people in so many unique and diverse ways. That’s what makes this a perfect fit.” 

What has been the most difficult part of being a nurse during the pandemic?

Nursing is about connecting with people and building relationships. The pandemic made that hard to do, especially talking through a mask or connecting online. During the pandemic we needed to work around those physical barriers.

How has nursing changed during your career?

Patients are more in tune with what is going on. They have greater access to information and are more likely to ask questions.

What do you enjoy doing when not at work?

I like connecting with my out-of-town daughters and being with my dog, Moose. I go to an incredible church where I volunteer and participate in a couple of small groups. I also enjoy bike riding, playing golf and video games.

Interview Notes:

Bill Campbell MBA, BSN, RN, CEN

Trauma Program Manager 

What did you do before you became a nurse?

I have been a nurse since 1995, so before that, in high school, I worked at a veterinary hospital. I was a veterinary when they called us a veterinary technician. So, we drew the blood, we walked the dogs, washed the dogs, took their X - Rays and all that.

Did you start nursing right after high school?

I went to Community College, and I started as a biology major, I Wanted to go to that school and then I realized how incredibly long and just that just was not time wise and commitment wise and I married my high school sweetheart, so we were like trying to get married and planning our future.

My grandmother had always told me you have such a kind heart you should go into nursing And she had a friend who was a nurse and I remember we had she came to like our 5th or 6th grade Career Fair, and so she came in, she was an ER nurse, and she came and talked to the class about what she did.

And I was fascinated with that, and so it just clicked, I decided after my first year of Community College. I said you Know let me, let me look at This nursing program, I was like one of two guys in the class Everybody else was women.

why Did you choose to work in Nashville general?

So after that I started a trauma program in Florida and that was 2015. After we started, I wanted to get my MBA. I wanted to do something different and so I started doing interim leadership, traveling around, doing interim contracts with different places.

I only had like 2 semesters left and then COVID hit. And so my in class MBA program now became an online program and all my contracts got cancelled. I got to focus on finishing my MBA and I did that and then I started and it's you know COVID relieved and people contract started come back. I did some things in Indiana to some things in North Carolina. I just wanted Something full time.

It had been two years by that time and I was just like I want full time work; I wanted something stable. I got tired of the traveling and, a recruiter had contacted me about Nashville general. I met Dr. Bullock and one thing led to another and God said I want You here, So I came.

What do you like the most about working at Nashville General Hospital?

The people, the people are pretty, you know, it takes a village, but the People here and then some of the Programs you have for the patient population that we take care of, that we focus on, like The food pharmacy, other Places just don't have Things like that and just the patient Education that had the clinics In the hospital for people to see and get everything Like a one stop shop is.

What has been the most difficult part about nursing while working during the pandemic?

The hardest thing right now is just, there's a lot of traveling going on and it's hard to grow in your organization and to find and to cultivate those relationships. nursing is about relationships - we know how to connect with folks, we know how to bond and that is what patients want and that's what patients need.

It's not patient experience - It's relationships. It's building those relationships. It's connecting with people and that's what nurses do. That is what we're called for and so the hardest part with all that is talking through a mask.

Everything is online. There's very, very little face to face connection and contact, and it's very hard to make those connections with people when you've got a barrier. I think a lot of that is learning how are we going to Work around those things and how are we going to make our patients safe, Keep them safe, but still make those connections even though we have that physical barrier.

how has nursing changed in your career?

The pace got a lot better. I think these days with patients being so in tune to what is going on and having access to so much information and second guessing or questioning everything is good, but it also takes away from those people that are here, you know, or caring for you.

The generational divides that we have cause nurses to respond to things in healthcare differently. Your Gen X’s like me are going to be a little more, you know, easygoing I guess, whereas the millennials will think some things are a personal attack, and then the Gen Z's are even worse. They are going, you know this is a threatening environment, but we all have to Understand what's going on with the patient internally to cause them to respond a certain way.

They are in a hospital. They are scared. They are not reacting the way they normally would, acting the way they normally would. They are asking questions. They, you know, oaretrying to figure out, “do I need to be here 'cause, I still need to pay my rent, I gotta feed my kids, I gotta take care of all these other things.”

Everybody needs to realize there's other things going on in people's lives and it is not just about me. We need to make statements like “I notice you are having a bad day - Is there something I could do to help?”

What or who inspires you?

my biggest inspiration is going to be God. Next, I would say my grandmother has been my biggest inspiration. She is going to be 100 this year on September 13th. She's been such a such an influence. - Good and bad in my life, but a couple of bad habits that my mom would look at me and go, you know, you get that from my grandmother? I know exactly who I get that from. Even my grandfather, who passed away a couple years ago.

I mean, both my grandparents have been just such a big influence.

what do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?

My daughters, you know, one lives in Florida, one lives in Utah. I have a dog, His name is Moose. Moving to Nashville was my, you know, second time starting over, I guess, so meeting people, I found a church that is just incredible. I'm in a couple of small groups.

I volunteer at church, and I also enjoy bike riding and playing golf, playing Video games probably play that too much.

Was there anything else you would like to share it was anything else you would like to share as far?

I've really enjoyed my career nursing. I've done so much - I mean, I have worked in the ER, I spent 13 years flying on a helicopter, I've done trauma management, I have done bedside, I have been a director, I've done a lot in my career and so that you are not limited to, As a nurse, working at the bedside.

But you get to Take care of people and help people in so many unique in diverse ways that. You know, if that's what your calling is, you know nursing is a perfect fit for You - there is just so many avenues you can go. That you can help people.

And now with Tele nursing and call centers and things like that, it's just so much. There's so many aspects that we can, you know, help affect people's lives and make things better. That, yes, if you're a helper type person and that's what you love to do. I would highly recommend it.