Stephanie Scherpa ’19, a student in the nursing and health services management track of the MSN program, uses her education to enrich the lives of not only her staff members, but the patients they serve.
Training Nurses to Find Their Talents
As a nurse manager at Baystate Medical Center, Stephanie Scherpa ’19 helps staff nurses unlock their full potential. Partnering with a nurse educator, Stephanie oversees a 30-bed medical telemetry unit, managing the recruiting, hiring, and training of a 66-member staff. She decided to earn her MSN in nursing and health services management to gain more expertise as a nurse leader.
“My passion in nursing is helping other people grow to become the best care providers they can be,” said the Feeding Hills, MA, resident. “The most rewarding part of my job is hearing stories from patients about the amazing care they have received from my staff.”
In addition to supporting her team, Stephanie helps facilitate various quality improvement projects and safety initiatives at Baystate. Most recently she helped implement a patient care program based on Kristen Swanson’s theory of caring, which emphasizes making connections with patients and getting them involved in discussions about their health.
“The ultimate goal is to improve the patient experience,” Stephanie said. “The program has been rolled out and communicated, now we’re working on sustaining it.”
A Multifaceted Education at Elms
Hospital-wide initiatives require nurse leaders to actively manage a complex set of priorities. The classes that Stephanie took at Elms prepared her for this type of dynamic workplace, she said, because concepts discussed in class could be immediately applied at work the following day.
“My two business classes were enlightening,” she said. “All of that material is information that I’ve had to either learn on the job, or here at Elms. Change management is definitely something that Elms has taught me.”
Another benefit of the MSN curriculum was its focus on evidence-based research (EBR), Stephanie said. As a nurse manager, her decision-making goes hand in hand with the ability to analyze research findings.
“At any healthcare facility, we don’t make any changes without evidence-based research,” she said. “Elms has taught me how to find evidence-based research and work on implementing the changes for those quality and safety initiatives that affect the patient experience.”
In Stephanie’s case, earning her MSN was always a given — she knew that she wanted to go into healthcare administration once she gained experience as a nurse. In her view, Elms was the logical choice for bringing her nursing education full circle.
“I appreciate the hybrid courses that Elms offers — they fit with my life really well,” she said. “I have the option to attend in person, be asynchronous, or Webex in, live. But I still really wanted to be able to be part of a group.”
“There was really no other choice for me,” she added. “I knew I would come to Elms for graduate school.”
Whether your interest is in nursing and health services management, nursing education, school nursing, or a dual MSN/MBA degree, the Elms School of Nursing offers graduate tracks and certificates to develop your expertise and further your career. Contact us for more information.