From PCA to Nurse Manager: Lisa Schryver’s Story

When Lisa Schryver, MS, RN, applied for a job at Albany Med 20 years ago, she sought to be a patient care associate (PCA) on the Neurosciences unit. She was drawn to this specialty after two family members–one who suffered a stroke and another who had a brain tumor–were cared for at Albany Med. During her interview, the nurse manager asked Lisa about her long-term goals.

She recalled, “I told her my goal was to have her job.”

Lisa started as a PCA on the night shift, taking vital signs, giving bed baths, assisting in patient ambulation, stocking and getting the patients ready for the day. After four years, she became a staff nurse. She then rose to become an assistant nurse manager, and then, she realized her goal—becoming the nurse manager on that very same unit.

For Lisa, her journey in nursing at Albany Med has been a family affair.

“I chose Albany Med because of the positive experiences family members have had as patients,” she said. “I also encouraged both of my daughters to become registered nurses, and they work here, too.”

The Neurosciences unit, where Lisa has worked for her entire tenure at the organization, cares for patients with strokes, brain tumors, aneurysms, seizures, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, neuromuscular diseases and other neurological conditions. On average, 80 to 100 patients are admitted and discharged from this unit each week.

When Lisa was a bedside nurse here, she loved working directly with patients. Now, as a manager of a team of nurses, PCAs and administrative support associates, Lisa enjoys guiding and mentoring her staff members, especially by helping them manage a work/life balance.

“When a staff member comes to me with a problem, I work with them to help them solve it. There is great camaraderie and teamwork on the Neurosciences unit. When I round and ask what the best part of their job is and what keeps them here, the answer is consistent—the teamwork and people they work with.”

Lisa believes love for her patients, colleagues and Albany Med’s leadership kept her here for 20 years and counting.

“Albany Med is a great place for you to embark on a career in nursing,” she said.