Shahde + Sherry + some unusual circumstances = a Clinical Ladder position!

Shahde + Sherry + some unusual circumstances = a Clinical Ladder position!

Shahde and Sherry want you to join the Clinical Ladder!

This summer, I had the pleasure of taking care of a very special patient — our very own Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer, Sherry Perkins. I cannot put into words how honored I was. I knew taking care of Sherry was going to be a challenge because of how much she genuinely cares for people.

While I was nervously asking Sherry her admission questions, she interrupted me and asked, “What level are you on the Clinical Ladder?”  I answered that I was not on the clinical ladder. She looked shocked.

My inner thoughts and fears, which I shared with Sherry, were this: a clinical ladder position was something that I always strived for and wanted to accomplish, but I felt that I was not qualified enough. In my head, I had a strong belief that I would not fit that “mold” of someone who should be on the Clinical ladder here at AAMC.

Sherry gave me the encouragement to get the application together as soon as possible. I gave her my word and by the end of the month, I had my portfolio together and was ready to set up my meeting with my director.

I share this story because sometimes one needs that extra boost of encouragement — especially when you doubt yourself — and Sherry was that person for me. I know there are many more of my fellow colleagues who can move up the clinical ladder. If I can do it, you can, too. You are much more qualified than you think. YOU CAN DO IT!

I leave you with these final questions: Are you being the best nurse you can be? Are you taking advantage of all of the great opportunities that AAMC has to offer?

Please join Sherry and me in January as we kick off different types of information sessions for joining the clinical ladder! More details to come!  –Shahde Graham-Coker, RN

Click here for more information about the clinical ladder.
Disclosure: Express written consent was obtained by this patient to share this story.


  1. Posted by Jackie Nielsen RN BSN, at Reply

    Sherry is such an inspiring leader. Congratulations Shahde! There is no limit to what you can do!!

  2. Posted by Lally, at Reply

    What a great story! Very motivating…..I think the ladder will be on my list of New Year’s resolutions!

  3. Posted by Mary, at Reply

    I am so proud of you sha……. You are my hero right now

  4. Posted by Saisa Neel, at Reply

    Shahde–You go Young Lady!
    Sherry–Thank you for inspiring a wonderful, caring nurse!

  5. Posted by Alimatu Sesay, at Reply

    Congratulations!You are right, most nurses I talked to that are very competent and qualified does not feel confident to climb the clinical ladder. This is very inspiring, I am going to work on mine too. Thanks for sharing. Nice post!

  6. Posted by Kathleen Smith, at Reply

    Shahde, You are amazing and a true inspiration! We are so lucky to have you back on the HVU team!

  7. Posted by Marianne McKiernan, at Reply

    Sherry, Thanks for inspiring Shahde!
    Shahde, Thanks for inspiring others!

  8. Posted by Holly Sowko, at Reply

    Great article Shahde!!! We are so lucky to have you as part of our team.

  9. Posted by Barb Studer-Baer, at Reply

    Congratulations Shahde! You rock! I’m so proud of you!

  10. Posted by Christine Mortejo, at Reply

    I like this post! Very encouraging. I think I should start mine, too:)Thanks.

  11. Posted by Brandy Brown, at Reply

    So Awesome to hear this story! Love it!

  12. Posted by Mary Beth Tubiolo, at Reply

    Congrats, Shahde!! You are a great role model 🙂

  13. Posted by Gena Kosmides, at Reply

    I remember working in Observation where Shahde was a caring, super tech all the while attending nursing school. She was so passionate about her patients then and it’s wonderful that she’s kept that same passion throughout her journey to RN and clinical ladder. Awesome!!

  14. Posted by Jennifer Smell, at Reply

    Great story! Congratulations, Shahde!

  15. Posted by Deb Keane, at Reply

    What a wonderful and ispirational story – thank you for sharing it, Shahde and welcome to the Clinical Ladder !

  16. Posted by Jenn Romero, at Reply

    Awesome job Shahde!!! Keep up the good work 🙂

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