From bedside nursing to the business side of health care, Susan Beaton’s career in the medical industry has changed, but her dedication to patients and customers has never wavered.
Beaton began her career as a pediatric trauma nurse. Ten years in, she developed a latex allergy and had to leave bedside nursing.
Her new career began at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) in 1997 when she was hired as a nurse reviewer, a change that Beaton said came at the right time.
“As a nurse who did floor nursing for a long time, to know that there was this much opportunity on the business side was eye opening,” Beaton said.
The career change enabled Beaton to keep her nursing license up-to-date while continuing to use many of the skills she developed at patients’ bedsides.
As BCBSNE’s vice president of provider services and care management, Beaton and her teams focus on helping BCBSNE members and health care providers understand health care through care managers, health coaches and more.
“In the changing health care industry, flexibility and adaptability are critical qualities,” Beaton said. “We must maintain a nimble approach.”
Beaton credits BCBSNE’s culture with involving employees in shaping the future of health care. The industry’s growth, change and learning opportunities have kept her with the company for more than 20 years, along with the advice of a coworker.
“I remember when I first started and had my five-year award luncheon,” Beaton said. “Steve Martin, who was the CEO at the time, got up and asked a lady receiving her 30-year award how she stayed so long. She said if there was an opportunity to learn something new, if it was a time in her life where she had extra time to give or learn, she said yes to that opportunity.”
Beaton followed the veteran’s advice and said she’s learned “so much.”
“That’s really what I’ve kept in the back of my mind for 20 years,” Beaton said, “and it’s gone fast.”
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