Tricia A. Lewis
PhD (c), MSN, CNM, RNC-MNN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, NPD-BC
In 2006, I joined the Northwell Health System as the educator of the perinatal units and was quickly promoted to the Director of Education and Research. At the time, my hospital was transitioning from a community based institution to a hospital with tertiary care status. During my tenure, we have opened a Cardio-Thoracic Unit, built Cardiology and Electrophysiology labs, expanded our Emergency Department from 10,000 square feet to 52,000 square feet, created a Stroke Unit, and added a Critical Care Stepdown floor. We became certified as Trauma Level II, were approved as a stroke center and are on the last phase of Baby Friendly designation. We’ve expanded our orthopedics service, developed a bariatric unit, and are in the groundbreaking stage of upgrading our Women’s Services where we will be advancing our NICU to level 3 status. Along with this growth, I was responsible for organizing and facilitating the education required for successful patient care. My work to improve the educational foundation of this institution led me to want to enhance my own educational qualifications as a nurse leader.
Deciding to pursue a doctorate degree was a major decision, but choosing the right school was even more important. After much thought and on-site visits to numerous universities with PhD in Nursing programs, I chose to attend the Graduate Center as I felt that the mission and vision of the school supported a venue for the global experience that I sought. I enjoy the excitement of a university setting in the center of one of the most diverse cities in the world and I was thrilled to engage with a varied group of students and professors.
After I graduate with my PhD, I hope to obtain a full time teaching position in an institution that supports nursing education and research. I intend to remain, in some capacity, in my current role as Director of Education and Research at Northwell Health, where I would like to continue to promote education, and to encourage nursing research among my staff nurses.
At the Graduate Center, while I enjoyed the statistics and the nature of quantitative studies, I found myself drawn to the qualitative process. After much thought, study, and years of work, I decided to undertake an ethnographic study to research the interprofessional relationships on a Labor and Delivery unit. As a former Labor and Delivery nurse and certified nurse midwife, I became interested in the dynamics among the professionals who work on a hospital unit where healthy birthing is the norm but where the birth process can go awry, sometimes catastrophically, in a moment. With the guidance of my chair, Dr. Barbara DiCicco-Bloom, I have used an ethnographic approach to understand how work relationships among nurses, physicians and other personnel create a context that has implications for patient care quality. Additionally, I am a co-author on two papers; "The lived experience of feeling playful" and "A study of the use of psychopharmacologic agents by acutely medically ill older adults."
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