What inspired you to get involved in nursing?
I always knew that I wanted a career that would allow me to help people, so nursing was an obvious choice. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Austin Peay State University in May of 2003 and officially became a registered nurse (RN) in July of that same year.
In your role at Empower AI, how do you use the skills you learned as a nurse?
Throughout my almost twenty years as a nurse, I have worked in many different clinical specialties, including general Med-Surge, Neurology, Urology, Gynecology, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, and both inpatient and outpatient Pediatrics. I also have three years of education experience, both classroom and clinical realm, along with 8+ years of experience in Medicare and 4 years of experience in Medicaid, encompassing a transverse field spanning from patient appeals in the private insurance sector, to fraud, waste, and abuse investigations, and payment error rate measurement within the scope of government contracts. In my role at Empower AI, I use my broad-based experience from both clinical and instructional aspects of the health care field; complimented with experience in medical review, management, and process improvement to assist our team in continually ensuring the best product for our customer, CMS.
During your career, what are some specific challenges or obstacles you have faced along the way, and how did you overcome them?
I feel the biggest challenges or obstacles I have faced in my nursing career have been centered around nurse-to-patient ratios. Unfortunately, nurses can feel like we aren’t able to give our patients all the care they deserve when the nurse-to-patient ratios are not ideal. I feel it is probably going to take legislative action to ultimately correct this issue, and hope I am able to see those changes take place while I am still working.
Based on your training, what are some of the key achievements or milestones in your career that you are proud of?
In addition to my job here at Empower AI, I also work Saturdays at a local mid-sized hospital as the Nursing House Supervisor. Although I love having my remote position here, I like to keep a position that allows me to maintain my clinical certifications and nursing skills as well. I am proud that the hospital administration has the confidence in my knowledge and abilities to entrust me with such a significant vital role.
With service to the country and our communities in mind, what advice do you have for others who share that commitment of serving others?
I feel that in nursing and any profession, where service to others is key, you will be successful if you always keep this quote in mind:
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
What motivates you to continue pushing boundaries and striving for excellence in your work?
I strive to always perform at my absolute best no matter what the job, so that I never have to question what I could have done better, had I just put forth more effort. To be continually gaining knowledge and refining skills is my aspiration. I refuse to become stagnant.
In your view, why is it important that we celebrate Nurses Week?
I feel it is important to celebrate Nurses Week to honor all nurses, in every arena, for the essential role they play with their vital and matchless contributions to health care. Nurses are the forefront of healthcare, and ultimately determine the patient’s experience, regardless of the type of visit or specialty.