This year National Nurses Week begins on May 6, National Nurses Day, and culminates on May 12, the birthdate of celebrated nurse Florence Nightingale. The advent of modern nursing is credited to Nightingale, who laid the foundation for professional nursing through her tireless efforts during and after the Crimean War. Today, nurses work in a wide range of specialties and settings.  

To acknowledge the contributions of nurses everywhere, we will celebrate one of our Caravan Health nurses every day of Nurses Week. Each day, we will highlight a nurse in this cumulative blog to not only recognize their contributions but to also showcase the diversity of nurses everywhere.  

Our Nurses:
Claire Foehrkolb
Lisa Goldenstein
Ashley Kilpatrick
Alicia Lawless
Caroline Mei
Paula Price
Beverly Young

Claire Foehrkolb is a Clinical Content Senior Manager with Caravan Health, part of Signify Health.  

When and why did you become a nurse?  
I became a nurse after graduating with my BSN in 2014, from Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!). My Grandma and Mom were both nurses. I always loved science, so I was drawn to the nursing curriculum. I loved learning about the body, microbiology (I was a TA!), medication, therapies, and even the healthcare administration aspect of nursing. I consider myself a compassionate person and like to take a hands-on approach to obstacles, so nursing ended up being a great fit. I wound up going back to school for my MSN in Nursing and Healthcare Leadership and I graduated with that degree from Duke University in 2017.  

What advice do you have for nurses struggling with burnout?  
Change. It. Up. I think that as a human species, we generally struggle with change. But change can be a good thing, especially when you are able to control it. If you’re struggling with burnout, see what kinds of changes you can make in your life. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee on your way in to work, start working on a new certification, change up your daily routine, ask to precept a new hire, attend a conference in your specialty, start a new hobby, or join an organization/club outside of work. If you’re so burnt out that you truly don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, remember that nursing is not just direct patient care. There are other nursing career paths that can be just as fulfilling. You can look into administration, informatics, forensics, case management, education, sales – ANYTHING! We all know that nursing can often be an exhausting and thankless profession and it is so important to prioritize your well-being and mental health. Be good to yourself. 

What is your favorite thing about your job? 
My absolute favorite thing about my job is that I get to have an impact on more patient lives than I ever had before. When I worked in critical care, I got to have an impact on 2-3 lives per day. While my job was extremely important and very rewarding, I always felt like I could be doing more. I now get to help support a fabulous team of ACO experts and together we help improve the health of thousands! 

What would you change about the profession of nursing? 
It’s a tale as old as time, but nurses tend to “eat their young.” I remember in one my first few weeks as a new nurse, I had a patient with a chest tube that needed to be pulled. The cardiothoracic surgeon was so kind and asked me if I wanted to help take out the chest tube to which I eagerly agreed. My preceptor (because I was still on orientation) stepped in and said to me, “I’ve been a nurse for 15 years and I’ve never gotten to pull a chest tube. I’m going to pull this – not you.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last time I witnessed this kind of behavior. I think that as nurses, no matter the years (or in my case, weeks) of experience we have, we must support one another and know that each one of us brings a different set of skills and level of knowledge to the table from which we can all learn and grow.  

What are your three most favorite things (not including family/people)? 
Diet Coke, OrangeTheory Fitness, and college football.  

What is your biggest pet peeve? 
People who don’t treat waitstaff well – I think you can learn a lot about a person who is unkind to their waiter/waitress.  
 


Lisa Goldenstein, MHA, BSN, RN is a Regional Vice President with Caravan Health, part of Signify Health.

When and why did you become a nurse?
I officially started as a licensed nurse on June 2, 2008. When my grandma was dying in the hospital, I sat with her 24/7 for five days. There was a nursing shortage, and my grandma's extensive needs weren't timely met or were met with strained tones from the staff. Intrinsically, I facilitated her daily care, reminding the nurses about her medication regimen, measuring her I&Os on a napkin, rebandaging her wounds, and even sneaking into the nurse’s station and switching her strawberry Ensure to chocolate, as she requested. Finally, during my grandma's final hours, she whispered, "Lisa, my dear angel – nursing is your calling, and before I die, I need you to promise me that you'll become one. Please do it for me." So, three months after my grandma passed and at the age of 37, I started my journey to become a nurse and thank my grandma every day. 
 
How have you and/or your colleagues been affected by the pandemic and working during times of unprecedented stress?
During the pandemic, I was the supervisor for our remote clinical team.  It was a helpless feeling not to be able to provide them with the in-person emotional and physical support they needed as they were virtually consulting and caring for their clients (nurses) in healthcare organizations throughout the country.  While they were continuing to drive the business side of our organization, I could see and hear (Zoom calls) their great sadness and despair for what our clients were facing on the frontline.  Hence, a lot of sleepless nights for me.
 
What advice do you have for nurses struggling with burnout?
Find restorative activities that feed your soul.  This can be any form of exercise, calming music, playing with your human or furry kids, hot baths, time with family and friends (never underestimate the power of strong relationships).  Always monitor your emotional energy barometer and recognize when you are running on empty – step away and find ways to control what you can. Nursing can be a thankless job, but never lose sight of the patient lives you’ve saved, and the smiles and hugs you received from patients.  Never lose sight of your humility and strength.  One saying I like, “this too shall pass.”
 
What is your favorite thing about being a nurse and/or your job?
My favorite part of being a nurse is knowing you had a hand in helping a patient’s life.
 
What is your least favorite thing about being a nurse?
Despite exhausting efforts, patients lose their battle with life.
 
What has surprised you about the nursing profession?
How incredibly satisfying it is to be a nurse and part of a tight knit healthcare community.  You don’t learn about this in school!
 
What would you change about the profession of nursing?
Mandated collaborative nursing model and nurse-to-patient ratios, less duplicative and timely documentation.  Nurses need to provide more hands-on nursing care to their patients.
 
What are your three most favorite things (not including family/people)?
Being in nature (hiking, camping), listening to spa music, and dark, rainy days.
 
If you had a magic wand and could change one professional thing and one personal thing, how would you use it?
Professional:  Tear down invisible silos and turn everyone into kind collaborators.
Personal:  Have my entire family live on the same block.
 
What is your dream vacation or destination?
A worldwide cruise – 120 days!
 


Ashley Kilpatrick, RN, CMHWC is a Clinical Leader with Caravan Health, part of Signify Health

When and why did you become a nurse?
I originally chose nursing as (at that time) it seemed to be a faster track than some of the other majors and 18-year-old me just wanted to graduate and grow up. Fast forward all these years later and I can tell you that my choice was the right one for me. Over the years, I have grown to love nursing. I have worked in a variety of nursing roles. My passion remains hospice and population health.
 
What advice do you have for nurses struggling with burnout?
I have been there. I soul-searched and really tried to focus on what it was that was really affecting me. My advice is this – don’t give up.  Explore different career options available for nurses.  My journey took me from bedside nursing to hospice to ultimately, community health.  I finally found my niche.  Care Coordination and population health felt like home. 
 
What is your favorite thing about being a nurse and/or your job?
I love helping people and making a difference. I know it seems cliché but after working in community health for more than a decade, it’s clear to see that the work we are doing changes lives.
 
What would you change about the profession of nursing?
Countless times I have seen healthcare dictated by the system demands without keeping the patient at the forefront. Patient needs should always be kept front and center.
 
What advice do you have for those starting out or considering a career in nursing?
First off, thank you! Second, never be afraid to ask questions.  I have been a nurse for 20 years and still ask questions.
 
What are your three most favorite things (not including family/people)?
Halloween, twinkle lights, and iced coffee.
 
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Water spots on my faucets or sink, someone wearing shoes in my house, cups not sitting on a coaster… guess I have a few, lol!
 


Alicia Lawless, MBA, MSN, RN is the Director, Practice Transformation at Caravan Health, part of Signify Health

When and why did you become a nurse?
I became a registered nurse in June 2006.  I frequently read my dad's medical books from the United States Coast Guard when I was younger and knew I always wanted to work in the medical field.  I have always been interested in nursing due to the ability to impact someone's health positively.  But, more importantly, I have stayed in nursing because I am purpose-driven and passionate about proactively preventing disease and ending stigmas associated with those conditions.

What is your favorite thing about being a nurse and/or your job?
My favorite thing about being a nurse and my position at Caravan is our ability to impact and positively change lives.  At the beginning of my career, I worked in a cardiac unit and witnessed the positive impact of well-timed interventions to improve patient outcomes.  Now, our team proactively finds strategies to better care for patients and help prevent them from even needing admission to a hospital. Our Caravan team influences and supports healthcare providers across the country.  Then, the providers can take best practices to the patients in their community.  Since we don't directly interact with patients, it's easy to forget that our work is important and improves patient’s well-being from coast-to-coast.
 
What would you change about the profession of nursing?
If I could change anything about nursing, I would love for all nurses to know their power.  We are so powerful and can do so much together to improve healthcare.  Nurses are on the frontline advocating for their patients, communities, and healthcare systems.  Their voices and advocacy are more powerful than they realize.  Sit at those tables where decisions are made that affect your patients, nursing practices, and safety.

What advice do you have for those starting out or considering a career in nursing?
Fail forward, learn from your mistakes, and don't be afraid to speak up.   Remember your power!

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being a positive role model to my two little girls at home.  I was the first person to go to college in my family and have since completed four degrees.  My daughters know that anything is possible with hard work and dedication, no matter what.
 


Caroline Mei is a Clinical Coding Specialist at Caravan Health, part of Signify Health
 
When and why did you become a nurse?
I became a nurse in 1998, because I wanted a career that positively impacted the lives of others along with the versatility to be able to do so in diverse ways.  After my rotation at a psychiatric residential treatment center, I knew I wanted a nursing job in behavioral health when I graduated. 
 
What is your favorite thing about being a nurse and/or your job?
My favorite thing about being a nurse is the ability to work collaboratively with other health professionals toward the common goal of improving patient care.  Being a nurse adds credibility and supports having a seat at the table when it comes to decisions affecting patient care. At Caravan Health (Signify Health), I work with so many wonderful nurses, coders, physicians, and other healthcare professionals every day who invest time and energy into transforming the way healthcare is delivered.
 
What would you change about the profession of nursing?
I would like to see more training and education for nurses on healthcare insurance and reimbursement.  I went from working on an inpatient psychiatric unit to performing utilization management for a private payor.  This was extremely eye-opening for me!  The world of health insurance is complex, so it is not surprising patients struggle with gaining access to care, coverage, reimbursement, etc.  Nurses are in key positions to assist patients in navigating the complexity of healthcare coverage with the right training and knowledge.   
 
What advice do you have for those starting out or considering a career in nursing?
The opportunities in nursing are endless!  Starting out, I never thought my career would change and evolve as much as it has.  I have held a variety of roles from direct hands-on patient care and case management, to researching and developing medical policy, to leading the care management team in the implementation and conversion to a new claims processing system.  All of these opportunities stemmed from my nursing foundation.
 
What are your three most favorite things (not including family/people)?
Traveling, food, and TV. Yes, this means food travel shows are a go-to for me! 
 
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of achieving my medical coding certification in 2012.   It was a long exam of 5 hours and 40 minutes, and I used every minute of it!  Although it was challenging, it changed the course of my career and started my path in risk adjustment.  
 


Paula Price, MSN, RN, BS-CHE, is a Clinical Leader with Caravan Health, part of Signify Health

When and why did you become a nurse?
I became a nurse in May 2000, after receiving my bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education in 1998.  I’ve always had an interest in nursing after working as a CNA during high school.
 
What is your favorite thing about being a nurse? 
I love being a nurse because I am always learning new things, and I get to use my experiences, knowledge, and education to teach/train others.
 
What has surprised you about the nursing profession?
Nurses have unlimited possibilities for career growth and development.
 
What would you change about the profession of nursing? 
Nothing.  There is nothing more rewarding than a career where you get to train and support future generations of nurses and healthcare professionals.
 
What advice do you have for those starting out or considering a career in nursing?
Always keep an open mind to new things.
 
What are you most proud of? 
My boys: Evan who is 18 years old, a full-time student at Purdue University and Kyle 15 years old, a freshman in high school.
 


Beverly Young, RN, BSN, MHIM is a Clinical Leader at Caravan Health, part of Signify Health
 
When and why did you become a nurse? 
I became an RN in 1996. I had always thought about going to nursing school and finally made the decision to go.
 
What is your favorite thing about being a nurse and/or your job?
I love patient care, now that I am not providing care directly to patients, I believe what we do at Caravan Health positively affects our client’s patients. I always love hearing from the Population Health Nurses and their patient success stories.
 
What would you change about the profession of nursing?
I don’t really know. I think it is a great profession. There is a lot of opportunity in nursing.
 
What are you most proud of?
My kids.
 
What are your three most favorite things (not including family/people)?
My dog Baby, traveling for fun or work, and trying new recipes - this really allows me to be creative.
 
What is your dream vacation or destination?  
Croatia, I hear it is beautiful!
 
“As we close National Nurses Week, we recognize our Caravan Health Nurses for their dedication to improving the healthcare delivery system for everyone. Caravan Health nurses bring experience from the bedside, from academia, from consulting and from healthcare organizations across the US. They offer actionable strategies and support to all of our partners every single day. They bring new ideas and clinical programs that make a difference for over 600,000 older Americans and their care teams.  I send my personal thanks to every nurse on the Caravan Health team.”
 
Nicole Banister
Sr. Vice President, Practice Transformation
Caravan Health, part of Signify Health
 

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