Just over a year ago, Lobel Lurie graduated from American Sentinel University with the Doctor of Nursing Practice—a pursuit she hoped would allow her to be more effective as a nursing leader. The manager for clinical value analysis in strategic sourcing at Cone Health, a not-for-profit network of health providers throughout North Carolina, Lobel was eager to make her mark at her workplace, where she has worked since 2007, spending six years in professional development and three years in nurse recruitment.
A passion project turned capstone
For her DNP capstone project, Lobel chose to focus on a topic close to her heart. Having grown up and earned her BSN in the Philippines, in 1992, she was one of 22 nurses brought to New York City under sponsorship by Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
“It was such a struggle to come to a new country and be expected to achieve quality patient outcomes and satisfaction,” she says. “The demand for nurses is so high in the U.S. that the country has long relied on bringing in foreign-educated nurses, but those nurses face big challenges when they come here because of the language barrier and difference in medications, technological advancements and practices.” Lobel’s capstone was titled, “Onboarding Competency Development for Foreign-Educated Nurses within the United States Health Care System.”
Presenting her work to other nurse leaders
After graduating last year, Lobel presented her work at the 5th Annual Cone Health/Greensboro Area Health Education Center Research Symposium in fall 2016. Word got around about her study and she was invited to submit an article to Nurse Leader, the official journal of the American Organization of Nurse Executives. The article, “Strategic Planning for Future Delivery of Care: Onboarding Foreign-Educated Nurses,” was published in the November/December 2016 issue.
A representative for foreign-educated nurses
Since then, Lobel has been invited to present her thoughts on the topic of best practices in onboarding foreign-educated nurses at various forums. She was featured in a U.S. News & World Report article in March 2017 on filling the U.S. shortage with immigrant nurses. She also presented at the 54th Annual Isabel Maitland Stewart Conference on Research in Nursing at her Master of Arts in executive leadership alma mater, Teachers College Columbia University, in May 2017; the International Council of Nurses Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in June; and the 25th World Congress on Nursing Care in Melbourne, Australia, in July. For the World Congress, Lobel was a keynote speaker.
For Lobel, the opportunities that have presented themselves since her DNP graduation have inspired her and affirmed her wise decision to further her education. “I’ve been looking for a platform to talk about this topic since I came to this country in 1992,” she says. “I’m very thankful to American Sentinel for supporting me in completing a qualitative study like this and to develop this project into something I can continue to work on for years to come.”
Truly meaningful work
With the support of Cone Health, Lobel is continuing to take on speaking engagements as they arise and her schedule allows. She hopes to do a follow-up study down the road and has considered writing a book. “As a country, we need to put something in place that better manages the training and onboarding of nurses we bring here from other countries that have practice and other differences,” she says. “Those efforts help in achieving better patient outcomes, which is the most important part of what we do as nurses.”
Sharing her experiences and research is meaningful in many ways, Lobel adds. “To be able to speak out on this topic gives significance to the important role of foreign-educated nurses in the cyclic nature of nurse migration,” she says. “I’m grateful I could help expand nursing knowledge through scientific research at American Sentinel and share what I’ve learned and experienced as a nurse with others.”
Inspired by Lobel’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.