Home: Delaware. Age: Over 40. Birthplace: Manhattan. Profession: Nursing, nonprofit, healthcare administration, well-being. Organization: American Nurses Association. Title: Director of Nursing Programs, ANA. Founder and CEO, The Reach Initiative. Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Significant (m)other: Colonel Melvin Leary (Retired). Alma mater: Bowie State University; University of Maryland Global Campus; Walden University.
Current project: Addressing The nurse staffing crisis. Coaching and supporting nurse leaders to obtain and sustain leadership roles. Recent recognition: My name was noted on a selected poster at a national research conference by a former student who later shared how I had influenced her work and research project. Latest contribution to others: Pro bono coaching to nurse leaders of color, mostly those struggling with micro-aggressions, discrimination and racism in the workplace. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Leaving the practice setting I had known all my career after obtaining my doctorate. Hobbies: Reading; traveling overseas to immerse myself in different cultures; connecting stories or experiences with professional situations. Last book read: The Calling, by Quint Studer. Recently viewed and recommended: How to Kill Your Own Company, a Ted Talk by Nadya Zhexembayeva.
Personality profile: Witty, decisive, daring; a risk taker. Moral compass: The Platinum Rule: treat others as they wish to be treated (within reason). How do you define a perfect friendship? Accepting that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Giving grace to others, which creates room to obtain grace when I falter. What is your greatest joy? My children, hands down. What is your greatest fear? Missing out on a great opportunity, though I don’t lose sleep over it. What is your guilty pleasure? Mindless TV that doesn’t require me to think too much after a long day (e.g, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Masked Singer). What word or phrase do you use far too often? Hmmm, interesting... (provides the room to think before responding). What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Teachers, without a doubt. I don’t think I can do it.
What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? A great meal in a beautiful place with great company. A great combination and worth the $$. What is at the top of your bucket list? Advocating for nurses’ needs on Capitol Hill. How do you relieve stress? Exercise, always. It physically forces me to turn my computer off and do something for me. What is your go-to workout? Strength training with dumbbells. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? My husband and his wallet!
What was your first paying job? Wendy’s Hamburgers. What was your favorite college course? Biology. What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Operation. And then, later, I became an Operating Room nurse! What movie have you repeatedly watched? Airplane! What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My diplomas. I worked hard for them. Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? Jesus and his unconditional love, grace and understanding. Influenced my decision making and leadership abilities. What’s the best advice you received growing up? Never change who you are for anyone. What’s the best advice you received in your career? Just because someone throws you a ball, it doesn’t mean you have to catch it. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Laptops, of course! Remember how bulky computers were? Imagine that in my house. What is your favorite app? CHIEF. A great platform for women making a difference. What is your go-to source of news and information? Twitter. What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Nature. Being outside without the distractions and disruptions of technology. What company or organization do you most admire? Google. What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? The murder of George Floyd, unfortunately.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Improving working conditions and practice environments for nurses. There needs to be greater diversity and inclusiveness in the profession.
What change would you like to see in the world? Restoration of kindness and empathy. Desire for everyone to root for everyone to win. What message do you want to send out into the world? Vision gives purpose to your pain and struggles. What widely held belief do you reject? That people cannot change. So untrue. What mega-trend most excites you? Meaningful technology to reduce nurses’ workload.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Eat Pray Love (of course, it’s taken). What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Nia Long. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? Desmond Tutu and Muhammed Ali. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A singer. After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? My shoes! How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Front row at a Bruno Mars concert. What advice would you give your younger self? Take the pressure off and enjoy life.
Personal mission: Making the lives of nurses better. Lifting the image and understanding of what nurses are capable of. Diversifying nursing leadership for better decisions to address health equity. Personal motto: Introspection comes from a humble teachable spirit. Favorite quote: “You cannot be a leader, and ask others to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too" (Sam Rayburn). Desired epitaph: She lived a good full life. No tears allowed.