PhD in Nursing
“Learning about research and how to form a question forced me to look at multiple perspectives and has had a direct impact on making me a better nursing leader.”
For Lynn Choromanski, the field of nursing informatics offered the ideal blend of nursing, numbers and technology. As a school nurse who had worked in a variety of health care settings, she had long been drawn to technology as a means to improve care through documentation and analysis. The PhD in Nursing degree led her to an exciting new chapter in her nursing career.
She applied to the PhD in Nursing program in 2006 after reading about the School of Nursing’s then new dean, Connie White Delaney, and her expertise in nursing informatics.
Choromanski says the experiences she gained as a student engaged in national and state policy initiatives related to e-health were extremely valuable. These experiences helped her understand the broader context of systems.
Today, Choromanski is the nursing informatics specialist for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. She works across six nursing units and the perioperative services area to evaluate, implement and maintain technologies to assist nurses in caring and documenting care for patients. As a nursing informatics specialist, she also collaborates with pharmacists, physicians, imaging and rehab therapies.
“Learning about research and how to ask a question forced me to look at issues from multiple perspectives and has had a direct impact on making me a better nursing leader,” said Choromanski. “On any quality improvement project I look for a means to evaluate the outcomes, the ‘so what’ of the project.”
She believes her ability to understand and represent both the work of nurses and the data is central to her effectiveness. “We need to make sure what is decided is a result of understanding clinical impact as well as research and policy implications,” she said. “Ultimately, decisions need to be practical for the nurse, the patient and the system.”
Choromanski credits her completion of the program to her advisors, her children and her peers in the PhD program.
“As a single mother of three, I needed the understanding and support of my kids on this journey,” she said. “Also, the support and healthy competition among my PhD candidate peers was essential to keeping me moving forward.”