Drawn to the field of health care by her desire to help others, Doris Jane Jones-Pilcher, ARNP, first earned an associate degree in nursing from the Immanuel School of Nursing in 1960. During this time, she was greatly influenced by one of her instructors, who was the only nurse practitioner at the school at the time, as well as by then director Kathleen Shimming. She began work as a staff nurse for Immanuel Hospital in 1960, a role that she subsequently held with the Aurora Medical Center in Wisconsin and the Weiss Memorial Hospital in Illinois between 1962 and 1965. Joining the Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Ms. Jones-Pilcher rose to become head nurse in 1969, the crisis intervention coordinator and the supervisor of the mental health unit in 1970, the nursing administrative supervisor in 1972, and the nurse coordinator for home care in 1974.
From 1977 to 1980, Ms. Jones-Pilcher was active as the nursing administrative supervisor at Northwest Community Healthcare Hospital before joining Creighton University to further her studies. Earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1983, also she served as the director of nursing for Creighton’s psychiatric hospital in 1982. Active as the nursing administrative supervisor for the Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital from 1982 to 1984, she then became the clinical service coordinator for the Center for Behavioral Health at Saint Joseph Medical Center, rising to director of nursing in 1985 and community liaison in 1988, a position she would hold until 1995. Throughout his period, Ms. Jones-Pilcher also proffered her expertise as a teacher while continuing to advance her own education.
Ms. Jones-Pilcher returned to Creighton University as an instructor in the College of Nursing in 1987, becoming an assistant professor of nursing from 1993 to 1995. In this time, she achieved a Master of Science in nursing in 1991; certification in Adlerian counseling and psychotherapy from the Nebraska Society of Adlerian Psychology; and certification in nursing administration and psychiatric-mental health nursing from the American Nurses Association. She also served as an associate professor at Midland University from 1987 to 1988. Concluding her tenure at the Saint Joseph Medical Center, Ms. Jones-Pilcher was the clinical assessment counselor for the Center for Behavioral Health from 1995 to 1997 and briefly served as the director of clinical service for Rivendell Behavioral Health Services in 1995 as well.
In 1997, Ms. Jones-Pilcher joined the Visiting Nurse Association in Nebraska, serving as a clinical nurse specialist and clinical manager until she moved to Florida in 1998. Going on to serve as the program director for the Heartland division of AdventHealth Lake Placid from 1998 to 2000, she earned an advanced practice nurse degree from the College of Nursing at the University of South Florida in 2001 and spent the rest of her career as an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP). She was also certified as a case management specialist by the Florida Society for Healthcare Risk Management and Patient Safety that same year. Between 2001 and 2008, Ms. Jones-Pilcher was an ARNP with Florida Health Care Plans in Holly Hill and the East Coast Center for Psychiatry, and she concluded her career as an ARNP for behavioral health with Florida Health Care Plans in Ormond Beach from 2006 to 2011.
Having made a name for herself for her leadership and training skills, as well as her compassion, Ms. Jones-Pilcher has contributed her wealth of knowledge to a variety of other professional and civic endeavors. While living in Nebraska, she was involved with the Nebraska AIDS Project as a volunteer, spending time working at a local AIDS clinic in Omaha. She is also very active in her local church and has gone on a number of mission trips. Not considering retirement to be a reason to stop learning, she completed professional guardian training at Daytona State College in 2013. Looking toward the future, Ms. Jones-Pilcher intends to remain active in her community and hopes to do more mission work with her church.
Accomplishing much over the course of her career, Ms. Jones-Pilcher is proud to have worked in such a variety of hospitals across multiple states as well as having had the opportunity to teach at the university level. Recognized early on for her achievements, she was listed in Who’s Who in American Nursing by the Society of Nursing Professionals for 1988-1989 and was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu at Creighton University. She considers the highlight of her career to be the fact that she never compromised her integrity as a nurse when caring for her patients, though she notes that she also greatly enjoyed the time she spent in charge of supervision for two large hospitals in the Chicago area. Noting the importance of humility in the nursing profession, Ms. Jones-Pilcher would advise young and aspiring professionals to be sure nursing is what you really want to do and be prepared to accept and work in difficult situations.