Kathleen Birmingham ’10 (Street, Md.) was closely involved in Mercy Medical Center’s journey to Magnet status. As a registered nurse at Mercy, she works on a medical surgical floor specializing in orthopedics, neurosurgical and vascular. She was asked to be a member of her unit’s group designated to be analyzed by a Magnet surveyor.
“The importance of Magnet status was emphasized during my time in the Nursing program at YCP,” said Kathleen. “It has become the gold standard for nursing excellence and is taken into consideration when the public judges healthcare organizations.”
Early on in her career, Kathleen was also given the opportunity to be a unit representative for a quality council and chair the unit’s shared governance committee. Later, she assumed the role of unit representative for the hospital falls committee.
“As a team, we are currently working on an evidence-based practice project related to predicting the non-compliance of patients with fall prevention interventions,” she said.
Most recently Kathleen was assigned to the role of nurse champion for the On the CUSP:CAUTI collaborative at Mercy. In addition, she is now a preceptor, giving practical experience to graduate students.
“Knowing that I have the ability to aid in the development and beginning of a nurse’s career is a challenging yet rewarding experience,” said Kathleen.
While attending York College, she learned that the nursing professors are extremely dedicated to their students, always willing to assist with any difficulties or concerns.
“Although I have admired all the professors at York, Professor Julie Beck and Professor Lynn Warner go above and beyond to assist all of their nursing students,” she said. “I have continued to maintain a relationship with both since graduating. It is rewarding to see that I can help others start a career, just as my professors helped me.”
During her senior year at York, Kathleen was a nurse extern at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital in York.
“I believe that my experiences inside and outside of the classroom helped me adapt to my role as registered nurse on my unit rather quickly,” she said.
Kathleen reminds nursing students to be patient and that eventually the future will come together.
“Use your resources, specifically York College professors,” she added. “They are always willing to help you.”
By Megan Davitt '12, Office of Communications intern
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