Autumn Cockroft, the Nurse Manager on Riga, has lived her whole life in the company of seniors and was destined for her role at Noble Horizons. “I was raised by my grandparents since I was three weeks old.” Autumn’s grandmother was a home healthcare professional herself, and provided home health care in the house where she raised Autumn in Ancramdale, NY. “My grandmother took care of people at home. I can remember getting off the bus after school and helping the folks with their meals, doing their hair, or running errands for them. I knew that was where my heart was when I transitioned to a career in nursing.”
Today, Autumn draws on those childhood experiences in her work with the residents and her team members on Riga. “My grandmother instilled the kind of traditional work ethic that I carry with me today. I have found that the key to this kind of team leadership is all about the person-to-person communication. Our residents are filled with such wisdom, and their spirit allows my personality to shine through; it’s inspiring. As a result, my team and I feel the best part of our job is to keep encouraging residents to live every day to the fullest.”
Autumn certainly lives her life to the fullest; while working full-time at Noble Horizons, she is also pursuing a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management which she expects to complete in September 2020. “When I first started at Noble, I was still paying off my BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing).” Since joining the Noble team, however, her educational aspirations have been fully supported through Noble Horizons’ Employee Scholarship program. “Any little bit helps, but Noble has consistently awarded my full tuition amount, allowing me to pursue a Master’s degree because of the scholarship program offered here.”
Despite, or perhaps because of her many responsibilities, Autumn has moved swiftly through several key positions at Noble. “I started as a charge nurse, then I moved to Nursing Supervisor and finally to Nurse Manager here at Riga in only two years. I guess I work well under pressure, which is a key trait to possess in our field. Overseeing the CNAs, managing doctor appointments, and communicating with families can seem like a lot to take in all at once, but the network of support between nurses and families is nothing short of amazing.”
With such a busy schedule, Autumn makes sure to take time for herself, something she finds critical to a successful nursing career. Autumn is passionate about dance; she attends weekly tap classes in addition to teaching dance classes in Pine Plains, NY. “A good work ethic is critical, but I have come to recognize burnout in both CNAs and nurses; self-care is just as important as any other intangible.”
Autumn credits the Noble Horizons scholarship fund for the intangibles that have been so vital to her nursing career. “Noble is very good at investing in staff. With a very supportive environment, a beautiful campus, and, of course, the scholarship program, Noble helps to support you when you don’t have the luxury of not working full-time. It has been a cushion that has proven to be invaluable in my life.” Invaluable is exactly how we’d describe Autumn’s impact at Noble!