When Suzi Waddill-Goad took a portion of her capstone research from her Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership and turned it into a book manuscript, she considered it a great opportunity to publish her work and build her resume. After graduating from American Sentinel in 2013, she completed Nurse Burnout: Overcoming Stress in Nursing, a passion project that included chapters written by and with three of her DNP classmates. The book was published in January 2016 by Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
What she didn’t expect was the first book to lead to a second. The success of Nurse Burnout encouraged Sigma Theta Tau to consider a second, which Suzi has been working on since early 2016. “The topic is about business basics and is written for a wide audience—nurses interested in learning more or nurses already in business, which is a good fit with my experience,” she says. As an owner of a healthcare-focused operational and leadership development consulting business for nearly 15 years, Suzi has worked with hospitals, clinics, private practices and other healthcare organizations on all kinds of projects—from operations improvement to clinical turnaround and compliance efforts. “The goal of this book was to speak to anyone with aspirations of moving up in their company or bettering themselves as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur. This book will fill in those gaps.”
Business Basics for Nurses out June 2017
Business Basics for Nurses was published in June 2017, and is touted as “a practical guide that informs and expands thinking for nurses considering or already involved in business.” The book provides guidance on evaluating business processes within a healthcare organization, building business plans, understanding marketing, demonstrating leadership, leveraging technology, and more. Though not the goal of earning her DNP, Suzi adds, the opportunity to use knowledge gained to author and publish two books has certainly enhanced the experience. “Who knew that I would actually enjoy writing?” Suzi laughs.
A DNP collaboration
As she did with Nurse Burnout, Suzi approached colleagues with which she has worked or learned with through the years to help write chapters—though she is the book’s sole author. Contributors include Drs. Holly Jo Langster, an aesthetic nursing practitioner in Arkansas and fellow American Sentinel DNP graduate, Charlotte Mason, a primary care nurse clinician, and Anna Kiger, a system chief nurse executive. “Our thinking was that this book might be a supporting text or a handy guide for a nurse in a leadership position,” she says. “It really was a fun experience doing this and teaming up with fellow colleagues whom I respect.”
Future writing endeavors
Suzi might not be finished with her writing endeavors. “I presented my research for my capstone and the Nurse Burnout book at conferences after I graduated and many people were intrigued, but also wondering what exactly they could do about nurse burnout,” she says. “I could see the possibility for a follow-up companion guide helping those organizations. I would focus on how to change the culture of an organization and really get to the people part of things to make a difference.” If she decides to go for book number three, Suzi plans to aim for a 2018 or 2019 publication date.
For now, Suzi is working on launching a new blog soon and consulting with hospitals and medical centers around the country through her consulting business. Her latest project is working within a large health system in California as an interim chief nursing executive. The DNP, she says, has helped her achieve many goals and will continue to do so. “Learning never gets old,” she says. “I encounter a number of situations in my work where I can learn as much from others as they do from me. The experience of becoming a published author has only fueled my desire to do more for the profession of nursing.”
Inspired by Suzi’s story? A DNP with a specialization in executive leadership prepares master’s-educated nurses for leadership roles in the healthcare system. When you acquire new knowledge, you can apply it to nursing practice in ways that enhance patient care and improve outcomes.