Robert McGinty

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After spending 20 years working on the sports desk of a local newspaper, Robert McGinty decided he needed one final career change. He left a life of midnight deadlines and temperamental reporters to become a nurse. With Nurses Appreciation Day being celebrated on May 6, the Neptune Beach native is happy with his decision to change careers.

As told to Don Coble

You had a good career as an editor, so why did you decided to give it all up to become a nurse?

I was in my mid-40s and I figured I had time for one more thing. It required a lot of school, so I had to plan a few years ahead. I wanted one more career shot and it was starting to look like journalism wasn’t going to work out much longer – not through any fault of mine, but how the business was going.

Do you find your new role as a nurse to be rewarding?

That’s the best part about it. I love what I’m doing. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had, but it’s also the most-rewarding. I have no complaints. You have 12-hour shifts, overnight and most of it on your feet. It’s a grind sometimes. There’s an emotional aspect to it that you have to deal with that I didn’t have to deal with at the newspaper.

With last Wednesday being Nurses Appreciation Day, what is the general feeling about the support the medical community has received?

It feels good. Everyone is doing their job like we always have. Inside the hospital, we’re all still doing our routines.

What was your best memories of working on the sports desk?

Definitely the Super Bowl in 2005. We plotted out everything we were doing. For two weeks straight instead of doing an eight-to-10-page section, we were doing a 32-page section for two weeks straight. It required planning and execution and everybody did everything perfectly. We had a great boss who made it a great pleasure to work there.

Do you see that same kind of planning and execution at your job at the hospital?

Yes, 100%. It’s a different environment. Everything here is based on science. There’s one right way to do things. At the newspaper, you had to come up with the finished product and you could take any route you wanted to get there. At the hospital, there’s one way to do it and that’s the way it gets done.

Are you still a sports fan?

Not as much as I used to. I’ve kind of narrowed it down and become more of a soccer fan. I think I have been my entire life. There’s more of it on TV now and I’ve been watching that. I grew up playing soccer. I played until I was about 45.

What was your best day as a nurse?

There’s an emotional aspect to it. I walk out of here on Cloud 9 some days and other days my head’s spinning. It’s can be a roller coaster. But I absolutely wouldn’t change it. This is the best thing I’ve ever done. I really enjoyed my 20 years at the newspaper, but I figure I will end my career in this business and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made.

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