Winter 2012 Update

School of Nursing

Erin TaylorWe talked recently with Erin Taylor, BS 2011, about her path to nursing:

Q: How did you get started in nursing?

A: I always had a strong interest in population-based health, specifically how factors such as community, age, income, and access to care all impact a person's health. Identifying disparities in health and designing care to break through barriers is a crucial challenge that I feel nurses are prepared to tackle.

I graduated from the OHSU School of Nursing in 2011 through the Accelerated Baccalaureate program. The program enabled me to transition from my previous degree and work experience in marketing, into the role of an RN. Nursing has fulfilled my desire to genuinely connect with others, be up-close in their lives, and provide support and comfort.

Q: How did your nursing education prepare you for your current work?

A: Primary care is more crucial than ever, as millions of Americans are living longer with chronic illnesses. I am working in a 2-year pilot program focused on care coordination at OHSU's Family Medicine Gabriel Park and South Waterfront clinics. Our team of Nurse Care Managers is helping OHSU employees work towards their health goals, coordinate services, and better manage chronic illnesses.

The really exciting part of this program is that I'm not tied to the clinics. I visit people in their homes, and go with them to visits in primary care and specialty clinics. I even visit them in the hospital after a surgery, to help ensure a smooth transition home. This personalized approach makes a big difference in helping my patients reach their health goals.

Q: What stands out from your OHSU experience?

A: My mentor, Launa Rae Matthews, encouraged me to listen to the voice that brought me to nursing. She is a true champion of community-based nursing. As a student, I was impressed by OHSU's commitment to serving the community, in and outside of the hospital.

While in school, I was stunned to learn that 75% of health care costs are due to chronic diseases. I became passionate about the evolving role of nurse-driven care coordination. I wanted to help answer the question, "How can nurses improve care for people with complex conditions, who use a lot of health care resources?" Thanks to OHSU's School of Nursing and Family Medicine clinics, I am part of the effort to transform nursing in our community.

Q: Why should someone support the School of Nursing?

A: It's clear that we need nurses more than ever to bridge the gaps in healthcare. Nurses have the ability to empower people to better manage chronic illnesses and maximize their quality of life.

Our School is leading the efforts to make this happen. Nursing can change the way we deliver and coordinate care. We have the knowledge, and we're ready to lead. Join us with your gift of support today!