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Moore Regional nurse concludes fellowship year in Washington, D.C.

| Date Posted: 1/7/2010

Moore Regional nurse concludes fellowship year in Washington, D.C.
January 7, 2010

Joy Martin

Joy Martin, R.N., of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, discussed health care reform with 6th District Congressman Howard Coble during a week she spent in Washington, D.C., as part of an American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) program for nurse leaders.

PINEHURST – Joy Martin, R.N., wrapped up her fellowship year with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) talking about health care reform with her representative in Congress.

That appointment with 6th District Rep. Howard Coble and another half-hour with his senior adviser provided a memorable conclusion to a memorable year.

“All he had to do was listen to me,” Martin says of her meeting with Coble, “and he did.”

Martin’s meeting with Congressman Coble occurred during a week she spent on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the last of four week-long sessions on nursing leadership sponsored by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). “Both the congressman and I were immensely pleased to have made Joy’s acquaintance,” says Jane Miller, Coble’s chief caseworker and legislative assistant. “She is a memorable advocate for the nursing profession, and we’re glad she serves patients in Moore County in general and at FirstHealth specifically.”

The Moore Regional Hospital Foundation annually sponsors a local nurse’s participation in the AONE program that is designed to strengthen the skills of nursing professionals and help them acquire new competencies for future leadership.

“The program actually prepares nurses for leading in the future,” says Linda Wallace, Moore Regional’s vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer. “I am very much an advocate of the program, and I have seen significant professional growth in our nurses who have completed it. The program supports succession planning and helps prepare for the next generation of health leadership and a more complex health system.”

To be considered for the program, Wallace says, local applicants must be highly motivated and committed to long-term employment with FirstHealth of the Carolinas. They must also be experienced in FirstHealth’s broader aspects and interested in advancing in the organization.

The Moore Regional Hospital Foundation and the hospital’s administration encourage interest in the program by underwriting the cost of participation and providing leave time.

“Our Foundation graciously supports the program and has been an advocate for nursing and patient care by covering the tuition and expenses for the year,” Wallace says. “Moore Regional Hospital supports the time away as educational time.”

As clinical director of 2 Neuro, Robins Neuro ICU, Waldrip Medical ICU, the Safety Sitter Program and the Neuro Lab at Moore Regional, Martin is responsible for the day-to-day operation of each area. Since most of the hospital’s stroke patients eventually wind up on one of her nursing units, she serves as the hospital’s stroke coordinator and chairs its Stroke Performance Improvement Team. She was also a strong voice and active participant in the hospital’s successful quest for a Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center designation.

In addition to the week in the nation’s capital, Martin’s AONE Fellowship year took her to San Diego, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; and San Francisco, Calif., where she participated in a variety of educational sessions designed to increase her skills as a nurse leader.

The experience also introduced her to 29 other nursing colleagues representing the range of American health care – from small, rural hospitals to university medical centers. The resulting networking – “the part you can’t quantify” – was probably the most valuable aspect of her AONE experience, she says.

“We were all dealing with the same issues,” she says, “and we shared ideas about how we do things differently.”

Noting that her week in Washington occurred during the height of the congressional debate on health care reform, Martin says she came away from her AONE year with a new resolve about the responsibility that nurses, as the hands-on providers of health care, have for making their voices heard. She also gained a better understanding of health care as a business.

“I think I gained a greater perspective of how it all works together,” she says. “I learned a lot. It was a great experience.”

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