Caring for Patients, Inspiring Students: Joe Cook’s Path in Nursing

August 8, 2022

ICC Class of 2008 (Nursing) 
Nursing Patient Safety Program Manager at OSF HealthCare 
Lead Adjunct Faculty at Illinois Central College 

Tell us about the career path that led you to your current job.  

I initially started as an RN at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center. I progressed in my career and functioned as a secondary charge nurse and then a primary charge nurse. Throughout my time in the department, I was involved in the unit patient care council and became the Chair of SFMC’s Professional Nursing Congress. In 2016 I transferred to the Patient Safety Department and in 2019 I transitioned to my current position at OSF HealthCare (corporate office). Throughout my career I went back to school at Chamberlain College of Nursing and got my bachelor’s and master’s Degrees in Nursing with a focus on nursing education. I started working at Illinois Central College in the fall semester of 2018 as an adjunct instructor in the Certified Nursing Assistant Program and in 2020 I will become the lead adjunct for the lecture portion of the program.  

How did ICC shape your future or help you attain your professional goals? 

ICC was an amazing option for me. It was flexible enough to where I was able to work full time with a family of 5 and still get through the nursing program. Many of my Instructors inspired me to provide the very best care for all my patients. They also instilled a desire in me to teach future healthcare workers. The staff at ICC prepared me to excel in my profession and continue my education. 

What does it mean to you to be able teach at ICC and educate future ICC alumni?  

I appreciate the opportunity to bring all the knowledge and experience I gained through my time at ICC and in my career to the future healthcare workers studying at ICC. The teachers inspired me as a student, and I hope to be able to do the same for my students.  

What advice would you give current students at ICC to succeed? 

Keep an open mind. You may have an idea of what you want to do and where you want to end up but if you keep an open mind you may end up in much better places than you ever thought.