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Philadelphia has some of the best resources when it comes to health care in the private and public sectors. More and more nurses and health care administrators are being hired every day. Susan Cusack, executive director/administrator of Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, did not stop at one degree to achieve the success she’s had in the field.

(Photo Courtesy of Susan Cusack)

(Photo Courtesy of Susan Cusack)

Can you describe your duties as a health care administrator?

“I am responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the hospital which entail ensuring that all areas are staffed appropriately and with competent skilled individuals. I need to confirm that there is an established system for assuring that high-quality care is provided and that sound fiscal operations of the hospital are in place while promoting services in a cost-effective manner. In addition, I am responsible for ensuring compliance with regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies while continually monitoring the organization’s service and delivery system.”

Where did you get your degree?

“I received my BSN and MSN from Widener University, my MBA from West Chester and PhD in Health Policy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.”

How has education prepared you for your career?

“My education was critical in introducing me to the hospital environment. The BSN provided me with a strong clinical background, but also the skills and ability to critically think and problem solve, both vital to being in an administrator role. As a nurse, I was able to learn health care from the bedside perspective. The move to an MSN further enhanced my skills but broadened my outlook from just the bedside to a more global picture. My additional education helped me to grow and prepare for each role I had during my career. Without the progressive education, my career would not have led me into the varied roles and experiences I have had.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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