Kandice Watson’s mission of compassion extends even farther than resident care. As the Assistant Director of Nursing at Shoal Creek Rehabilitation Center, she has a passion and gift for education and encouragement, and a thirst for knowledge.

She discussed having the opportunity to encourage CNAs and other staff to continue their training, advance in their careers, and go to nursing school. “To see how far they’ve come and what they’ve learned has inspired me to keep educating and encouraging people.”

Fortunately, Watson said the Shoal Creek team is close-knit and adaptable. “We help each other out regardless of what people’s roles are. We dip into different departments depending on what the need is. . . We all work together and get it done.”

Shoal Creek Executive Director, Hubert Paul, elaborated: “Kandice wears many hats at our facility to include orientation of new hires. She often times adjusts her many tasks in order to accommodate the hiring needs of the facility. The service she delivers in orientating the new hires is second to none and is noticed and appreciated by the entire management team. She often harasses the team to ensure mandatory education is completed, all because she is passionate about what she does and shows compassion to every member of our team. These and other things are a true testament to the integrity exhibited by Kandice daily.”

Experienced in different specialties of nursing care, Watson went from one end of the spectrum to the other. Before taking on her role at Shoal Creek, Watson worked as a pediatric nurse. Yet she knows that no matter what age you’re caring for, compassion is key.

“If you don’t have compassion, you can never make the right decision. I think that leads to integrity in your job, and honesty, etc. You need compassion in order to take care of residents.”

In her words: “If you don’t have compassion, you can never make the right decision. I think that leads to integrity in your job, and honesty, etc. You need compassion in order to take care of residents.”

When asked if any individuals she has encountered in her career have impacted her, she said, “I can’t think of anybody who doesn’t.”

In this career of care and compassion, Watson believes that aspiring nurses should start out as CNAs first, so they know for sure it’s what they’re meant to do. She advised: “Don’t get into an office role. You have to be on the floor, communicate with the residents, nurses, and doctors. Communicate. To make sure you know what’s going on on the floor, and you know what you’re doing. If you see for yourself, then you know how to handle it.”

Watson’s expertise and compassion has now become a family affair. The true impact of her encouragement and education has reached not only her fellow staff members, but her daughter as well, who has just successfully completed CNA school and earned her certification.

In addition to the residents, Watson cited Shoal Creek’s CNAs, nurses, and management staff as a major reason factor for why she does what she does. “They work really hard and it never goes unnoticed. I have to remember to walk around and encourage them every single day.”