Are you a nurse that’s been contemplating a return to school? We recently had the opportunity to interview Nicole Thomas, a Doctorally Prepared Registered Nurse and owner of Nicole Thomas – INC, about her experiences in higher academia. Keep reading to find out what insights she has about pursuing advanced degrees and how she can help you achieve your career goals.
1. Tell us about yourself. What is your education and background within the nursing field?
My name is Nicole Thomas and I am a Doctorally Prepared Registered Nurse with a specialization in healthcare systems leadership. Additionally, I am a Certified Case Manager.
Like so many other nurses, I started my career on the med-surg floor. However, after working 12-hour shifts for two years, I knew that I needed something more flexible, something that would allow me to be more present for my family. That’s when I made the transition to home healthcare. I worked in home healthcare for about three years before I had the opportunity to transition to managed care.
As a nurse in managed care, I learned three important lessons: healthcare is a business; healthcare is heavily influenced by community and politics; and patients need leaders that are going to advocate for their well being and their rights. Armed with this knowledge, I was ready to take on the role as Associate Director for Medical and Clinical Operations when the state of Louisiana decided to privatize their Medicaid system.