Evening UST MBA
Meet Jon Henkel
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1988 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance. I spent 10 years as a property claims adjustor with American Family Insurance. Realizing that insurance claims were not my calling, I returned to school and received my bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2002. Since then, I have been at Regions Hospital, first in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit, then in the Emergency Department, and have recently been promoted to the newly created role of Director, Guest Experience.
In 2004, I was promoted to nurse manager of the Emergency Department at Regions Hospital, the only Level 1 trauma center in the east metro. I was responsible for managing 200 nurses, emergency room technicians, clerks and paramedics in the department. I worked collaboratively with physicians, physician assistants, social workers and case managers to manage the day-to-day operations of a department serving approximately 185 patients per day.
I learned an incredible amount about managing such a large department, but I had received no formal training on effectively managing such a large budget. As part of the Health Care UST MBA program, however, I learned to see the bigger health care picture. Most of what I learned in the program is directly applicable to my daily work. The accounting and finance courses are extremely helpful because nurse managers are not given training in these areas, yet are expected to manage multimillion dollar budgets. Long-term, I believe that obtaining an M.B.A. will give me a broader market of opportunities within or outside of health care.
The primary reason I chose St. Thomas was for the cohort model. I have taken distance classes in the past and found it difficult to connect with students for study groups and projects. The cohort model allows us to get to know each other, which enhances our ability to learn from one another. We are also expanding our professional network and building lasting relationships as a result of this model.
Our cohort has a nice mix of RNs, MDs, physical and occupational therapists and even a psychologist. There are some health care professionals who do not have direct patient care experience as well. This diversity of work and life experience has been very interesting and helpful for me to gain perspectives from other parts of the health care industry. It makes for extremely interesting conversations and debates.
Perhaps most importantly, I was not just a number in this program. The faculty and staff made me feel like part of a family and well taken care of. This was my first academic experience where the school has taken time to get to know me as a whole person.