YCP@Work: Tracy Miller, UPMC Memorial
Tracy Miller graduated from York College in 1999 with a BSN in Nursing. She currently works at UPMC Memorial as Chief Nursing Officer and VP of Patient Care Services.
What made you choose to pursue a degree in this field?
I worked at a local hospital as a unit clerk. I had a great mentor who shared with me the advantages of being an RN.
Describe a typical day on the job.
The days usually start early around 6 a.m. with phone calls, text messaging, and emails from my nursing teams. I am in the office by 7-7:30 a.m. On average, I receive around 120 emails daily, and they are often the result of another meeting follow-up. Meetings went virtual when the pandemic hit, but as time goes forward, there are more in-person meetings, which I love. I average 10-15 meetings a day. The content of the meetings varies. I have some weekly meetings around regulatory requirements, hospital volumes, staffing, and financial trends. There are also UPMC regional and systemwide meetings on strategic growth.
Each day, I spend time looking at quality and patient experience data, and analyze ways to improve our outcomes. Several days a week I visit throughout the hospital with the ancillary departments as well as touch base with the nursing teams. Overall, meetings are based on building relationships, removing barriers, and collaborating with our partners to find ways to meet the needs of our community. Another interesting and fun part of my job is connecting with the community with outreach opportunities and board participation.
How have you used your York College education since graduating?
The education I received at York College has been instrumental in the growth of my career. York College not only gave me the skills to be a nurse, but also provided me with leadership skills that helped me advance from a clinical RN to leadership.
What is most challenging about a career in this field?
The healthcare field is not a day-shift job. It is important to know that being a nurse requires flexibility regarding shifts, and it is important to have a support system—patient challenges can be very hard.
What do you like best about your career?
I love the spirit of nurses. They don't just come to work to put in time; they take their job seriously, and the lives of those in our community are impacted every day.
What advice would you have for a student who is just starting out in this major?
Understand every day is a new day. Ask a lot of questions. And understand you can positively impact lives every day.