Taylor became the clinical director of Hospice on Nov. 1. Last week, Taylor became interim executive director when John Costopoulos resigned. The two positions have been combined and she will continue with her former duties, she said.
Hospice provides care to terminally ill people and their families. Taylor is responsible for educating these families and the community about the agency, assigning home health aides to patients and overseeing the nursing staff.
In this capacity, Taylor, who has been involved with nursing management since 1980, handles scheduling, budgeting, payroll and performance evaluations, and helps her staff deal with the stress associated with assisting the dying and their families.
"We're all human and you can't help but become close to the patients and their families," she said, adding that Hospice's strong interdisciplinary team, including a chaplain and bereavement counselors, help make the stress more manageable, both for staff members and affected families.
It is her work with these Hospice families, said Taylor, that brings her the greatest satisfaction.
"It brings me back to what I went into nursing for," she said. "Though the outcome is death, it's rewarding to see the commitment families will make to take care of loved ones in their homes."
While the self-described "detail and goal-oriented" Taylor has moved up in the ranks since becoming a registered nurse in 1970, she said she's always kept a part of herself at the bedside.
For the next year, Taylor said she will focus on complying with state and federal regulations to bring the local Hospice up to "excellent standards of care."
At the helm of this project and her nursing staff, though, Taylor will not forget her roots.
"There's nothing I'd rather do than be a nurse," she said.