AHACareerCenter.org Announces 2013 National Healthcare Career Network Scholarship Winner

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Patricia Spuma will use her scholarship to further her career in the health care field.

AHACareerCenter.org awarded the National Healthcare Career Network (NHCN) 2013 Fall Scholarship to Patricia Spuma, B.S.N., M.S., R.N. The $1,600 scholarship will help Spuma further her career in the health care field.

The NHCN Scholarships recognize health care students and professionals for being life-long learners, mentors and volunteers engaged in professional societies, community organizations and networking groups as they advance in their careers. AHACareerCenter.org, the American Hospital Association’s online site for matching health care employers with the highest qualified candidates, participates in the program in recognition of the significant influence health care employees have on the well-being of their communities.

“Our 2013 winner demonstrates a deep commitment to advancing the delivery of health care to her community,” said Amy Goble, vice president of AHACareerCenter.org. “Patricia Spuma’s continued professional development promises to further position her as a successful leader in the field.”

Spuma is pursuing a Master of Science in nursing with a specialization in informatics. She currently serves as a nurse manager for an ambulatory center’s urology department, where her accomplishments include leading the rollout of the center’s outpatient electronic medical records (EMR) system, which resulted in improved patient satisfaction and a 40 percent increase in procedure volume with no additional equipment purchases.

“The medical field’s incorporation of information technology is paramount to protecting patient safety and controlling costs,” said Spuma. “Nursing will play a big role in determining content and shaping technology’s effective use. As health care evolves toward shorter hospital stays, reduced readmissions and more emphasis on ambulatory care, I see nursing leadership with informatics competencies as primary to helping patients navigate through the system and getting better.”

Having an interest in science and two aunts who were nurses, Spuma was inspired to pursue a health care profession when, at about 10 years old, she broke her hand and noticed (without training) that her X-ray was being displayed backwards. Finding the process fascinating, she decided right then to become a nurse.

“Winning this scholarship is unbelievably exciting,” Spuma said. “I plan to use the funds for books, fees and other education expenses. My graduate education will help me achieve my vision of providing collaborative, transformational leadership to optimize technology and information use across many health care areas to the benefit of patients, providers and support staffs.”

The NHCN Fall Scholarship Program is supported by the National Healthcare Career Network, AHACareerCenter.org and the generous contributions of hospital employers leveraging the reach of the network to locate and hire quality health care talent through association career centers. These employers include Alexian Brothers Health System (Ill.) and Mount Sinai Health System (N.Y.). For more information on the National Health Career Network Scholarship Program, visit http://www.ahacareercenter.org.

About the AHA
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, who include nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. Visit http://www.aha.org to learn more.

About AHACareerCenter.org
AHACareerCenter.org is the online job board of the American Hospital Association. Focused exclusively on health care career opportunities, AHACareerCenter.org connects professionals with job opportunities in both clinical and non-clinical roles at health care facilities. For more information, visit http://www.ahacareercenter.org.

About the National Healthcare Career Network
The National Healthcare Career Network (NHCN) provides a distinctive platform for health care employers and professionals to connect. The NHCN combines career centers from hundreds of health care specialty associations, giving employers access to quality candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to high professional standards. At the same time, the NHCN exposes its unparalleled talent pool to leading local, regional and national health care employers. By connecting quality professionals with quality employers, the NHCN strengthens the health care workforce — now and in the future. For more information, visit the NHCN website at http://www.nhcnnetwork.org.

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Marie Watteau