After graduating from Canandaigua Academy in 1999, Khristeen Sproul spotted an ad in the newspaper for a Thompson Health job fair.
Already a volunteer EMT with the Canandaigua Emergency Squad, she had completed a BOCES program to become a certified nursing assistant while in high school so she attended the fair, applying for a CNA opening at Thompson’s M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center and landing her first paying job in health care at 17.
In the more than 20 years since, Khris played many roles within the health system, where her professional growth continues to this day. Throughout, she said, Thompson has been one of her biggest supporters. Thanks to mentors, tuition support and more, she is a member of nursing leadership and is well on her way toward reaching her next goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.
“Thompson is amazing,” she said, “The family atmosphere is a huge reason I stay, and the ability to grow. Whether it’s mentorship, education or promotion, that’s huge.”
Turns out that Khris was only a CNA for a short time. The long-term care position ended up being a stepping stone to a position in the hospital where she felt she was more suited. Khris moved to the role of patient care technician in the Emergency Department, working in that capacity for many years. She spent some time on the hospital’s medical/surgical floors as a patient care technician, too, and also was employed as an EMT for the advanced life support service that was part of Thompson at the time.
Khris applied to the RN program at the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing, graduating in 2013 with an associate’s degree. Still busy as a member of the ED’s nursing team, she eagerly signed up for Thompson’s RN-to-BSN program. Held on site in partnership with Roberts Wesleyan College, the program features members of Thompson nursing leadership as adjunct faculty.
“It was an amazing program! It was manageable for a full-time working mother of two (three by the time the program completed),” she said. “The school and faculty were wonderful with me every step of the way.”
In addition, Khris noted, Thompson secured grants that meant the RN-to-BSN program wound up costing her even less than her associate’s degree.
Having completed the RN-to-BSN program in 2016, Khris continued working in the ED, where she was the department’s EMS liaison due to her many years of volunteering with the ambulance squad. She was also the ED’s representative on the hospital’s Nursing Practice Council, which she became chairwoman of in January of 2018.
The following year, in the EMS realm, she became a paramedic and also received the New York State EMS Council’s Registered Professional Nurse of Excellence Award.
January of 2021 was when Khris decided to leave the ED and accept a new role, as the nurse leader for Thompson’s three urgent care sites, located in Canandaigua, Farmington and Newark.
Now, with encouragement from the nurse practitioners she works with, Khris is working on her master’s degree at St. John Fisher College with an eye toward becoming a nurse practitioner in 2024. Once she does, she hopes to stay within Thompson.
“One thing I can say about Thompson is that they listen to you,” she said. “We are a very good, cohesive, interdisciplinary team.”