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DNP Graduates Prepare for Careers in Nurse Leadership

Seven students who graduated from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing’s ’s first Doctor of Nursing Practice class are utilizing the analytical skills and evidence-based practice principles that they gained to address some of our most pressing health care challenges.

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing launched its DNP program in 2014 in response to the vast changes in the nation’s health care delivery system. The program prepares nurses at the highest level of professional nursing practice to lead interdisciplinary health care teams and to improve systems of care, patient outcomes, quality and safety. The program emphasizes clinical leadership in the specialty areas of health systems leadership and population health. Below, Emory DNP graduates reflect on their experience in the program, their career goals, and why they chose Emory.

 

Susan Swanson,DNP,MSN

Current Career Position:

I am currently an active member of a healthcare consulting business. I am also excited to begin a two year nursing post-doctorate as part of the Atlanta VA Quality Scholars Program. The areas that I will be focusing on within the program include implementation science in areas of quality improvement, patient safety, optimizing healthcare access, and optimizing healthcare delivery.

Ultimate Career Goal:

My ultimate career goal is to teach operations consulting. I also want to complete Board level work focused on quality, safety, optimizing operational efficiencies, and promoting the value proposition that the profession of nursing offers in senior positions.

Favorite Memory from the DNP Program:

My favorite memory from the program was the DNP leadership and faculty transparency. The faculty offered their expertise and actionable support that helped foster excellence in all program and project areas. This program offered networking and high caliber program peers that are true exemplars in their respective specialty areas.

Why Emory:

I chose Emory University because of their world class reputation. They offered a very unique hybrid DNP program that is not available anywhere else. Both the faculty and the dean are visionaries that lead by example. They are genuinely interested in cultivating people within the nursing profession.

 

Tamera Borchardt,DNP,MSN

Current Career Position:

Currently I am assigned to the Defense Health Agency in the Health Information Technology directorate as the lead for Operational Testing of the new Electronic Health Record for the Department of Defense. My clinical background as a Nurse Practitioner allowed my company to utilize me as a subject matter expert regarding a provider’s needs and challenges associated with patient care workflows and documentation.

Ultimate Career Goal:

Knowing that the future of healthcare will involve even more digital overlap than today, ranging from Electronic Health Records to big data analysis of complex disease management, I hope to be involved at the ground level. I want to ensure that providers have the tools they need to deliver effective and efficient care, while patients have the information they need to understand and participate in the care.

The DNP Degree and Your Goal:

The DNP degree with be essential in helping me reach my goals. My DNP project focused on websites and smartphone apps that are known as Patient Portals. Patient Portals give patients direct access to a variety of healthcare management tools, such as scheduling appointments or obtaining medication refills.  The project identified what was currently working for patients, what was not, and what patients hoped for in the future. This project provided insight that wasn’t always obvious or intuitive.  As the emphasis on electronic tools for patients and providers builds, it will be essential to understand and implement what helps rather than hinders effective healthcare delivery.  This degree provided me with a new vocabulary and understanding of the broader healthcare delivery environment that will certainly help me reach my goals.

Favorite Memory from the DNP Program:

Saturday schools were the highlight of the program.  Interacting with other students, faculty, and guest speakers helped motivate me to continue through all of the reading, writing, and hard work that it took to complete the program.  Each Saturday school energized me to hunker down and continue moving toward the rewarding finish.

Why Emory:

I chose Emory because of the reputation it upheld. When I was ranking schools for my doctorate program after completing my Master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner, Emory was my first choice. I am proud to have completed my DNP program at such an amazing school.

 

Erin Biscone,DNP,CNM,RN

Current Career Position:

I am currently a Senior Nurse-Midwife at Baylor College of Medicine working primarily in a clinical position.

Ultimate Career Goal:

My ultimate career goal in to improve the overall health and well-being of women and infants. I hope to obtain this goal by increasing the access women and infants have to certified nurses and nurse midwives. I want to focus my career specifically in the Texas area.

The DNP Program and Your Goal:

The DNP program at Emory provided me with the necessary tools to reach my goals. It has prepared me to represent my profession with both confidence and polish. Because of this program, I am able to exemplify nurses at the state governance level as well as the highest levels of leadership at my institution.

Favorite Memory from the DNP Program:

The Semester Saturdays were the most valuable part of DNP program. This is where we not only learned from the faculty, but also from our fellow students. The presentations we made and the presentations we watched prepared us for leadership roles in a way that an online based program could never do.

Why Emory:

Choosing Emory was an easy choice. I chose Emory because of its outstanding reputation. I also chose Emory because this particular DNP in Leadership program offered me a way to add exactly what I needed to my skill set that I could not find anywhere else.

 

Laura Prado,DNP

Current Career Position:

I currently work as a Nurse Practitioner for a neurosurgeon. I have enjoyed working for him and in this position for the last 15 years.

Ultimate Career Goal:

While I find my current position full-filling and it allows me to grow, I would love to build on what I have accomplished over the last 15 years. My ultimate career goal is to find ways to promote nurse practitioners in surgical careers.

The DNP Program and Your Goal:

The DNP program at Emory gave me the ability to become better-rounded within my nurse practitioner career. Healthcare is always changing and evolving, therefore we need to evolve with it if we want to continue to grow as opportunities arise. This program has allowed me to do just that.

Favorite Memory from the DNP Program:

The thing I enjoyed the most about the DNP Program was the camaraderie of my classmates. Emory is made up of so many different kinds of students, all with different backgrounds. Each of us worked in different clinical environments, however we used our common foundation of nursing to unite us.

Why Emory:
I chose Emory because I knew I would have terrific mentors. Emory is a school with a wonderful reputation and it provides the exciting opportunity to be part of the inaugural class. In addition, I had already received my BSN and MSN from Emory, so it just felt right to come back here for my doctorate.