Editor’s Note: We are profiling the McKnight’s 2020 Women of Distinction honorees daily through the program’s July 28 online awards ceremony. To learn more about this digital celebration, the Forum the next day (which offers three free continuing education credits July 29) or the program in general, visit mcknightswomenofdistinction.com.

Ahkira McPherson
Ahkira McPherson

Ahkira McPherson landed at Vi at Lakeside Village, Lantana, FL, fresh out of high school, and she’s never looked back. She leveraged tuition reimbursement and various in-depth learning and development opportunities to move through the operator’s ranks, from server to certified nursing assistant to registered nurse. 

Today, the native Floridian is the staff development manager, responsible for mentoring and onboarding an ongoing development of care center staff at the community.

Through learning, development and a passion for caring for older adults, McPherson earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Palm Beach State College. She participated in Vi’s management development program and graduated from the company’s Emerging Leaders Program, a seven-month program sponsored by Vi and Harvard Business Publishing. She accomplished a significant amount of virtual learning, assignments and projects outside of her regular responsibilities and regular working hours.

In 2019, McPherson was a guest panelist, speaking about workforce development with two senior living CEOs at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s Spring Conference.

McPherson’s role is multidimensional, as she is responsible for developing staff, conducting new-hire onboarding and ensuring that various quality measures are met. She also keeps employee records, teaches CPR and flexes her RN muscles handling wound care through her recently acquired certification. Her work goes beyond diagnosis and treatment to delve into preventive and holistic resident and patient healthcare.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare. Silver sponsors are OnShift and PharMerica, and the Signature sponsor is Acadia Pharmaceuticals.