From EMS Helicopter Pilot to Long-Term-Care Administrator

Following the birth of his daughter, Chris Kispert felt compelled to change his profession in order to spend more time with his family. An emergency medical services (EMS) helicopter pilot, his schedule was grueling and erratic (two weeks on/two weeks off). It was also not conducive to bonding with infant Cecelia.

Chris Kispert, his wife, and daughter dress in maroon and gold Gopher gear for Halloween
Gina, Cecelia, and Chris Kispert

As he considered the possibilities, Chris reflected on how his role as an EMS pilot had fed his interests in health care and helping others. This eventually translated into Chris earning his certification as a nursing assistant. It also led to a new job with Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chris enrolled in the Long Term Care Administration Series offered by the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. This popular program allows working professionals and University of Minnesota graduate students a flexible, customized, online curriculum in support of becoming a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

Nervous about returning to school, Chris felt at ease once he connected with his classmates who were all earning the same licensure. It was refreshing to see how the program catered to people with full-time jobs. They collaborated and asked each other questions about their real-world experiences. Many of his classmates also worked for senior living communities in the area which created a helpful network to discuss relevant issues.

The decision to change careers “led me to PHS and the University, both of which played an integral role in acquiring my license in nursing home administration in 2022,” says Chris.

He now works as a care center administrator at PHS-operated Norris Square in Cottage Grove and relishes in the day-to-day with his wife and daughter.

Read more of Chris’s story in Trading in a High-flying Career for Family and the Greater Good (PHS, October 31, 2023), which is excerpted here.