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At the Intersection of Nursing and Healthcare Management: Nohemi Galindo

At the Intersection of Nursing and Healthcare Management: Nohemi Galindo
Nohemi Galindo, MPH Healthcare Management student.

During the years she spent as a labor and delivery nurse, Nohemi Galindo often found herself wondering the same question: “How can we improve maternal and infant health in Texas?” When she became a nurse educator within the maternal program at University Medical Center (UMC) of El Paso, quality improvement and patient safety piqued her interest. It wasn’t until she served as director for El Paso County’s largest COVID vaccination site – where she oversaw immunization efforts for more than 200,000 people – that she resolved to pursue a master’s degree in the area of public health.

Launched in the fall of 2022 for the El Paso location, Galindo is a second-year student in the inaugural cohort of the executive-style MPH in Healthcare Management, and anticipates to graduate this May.

“The track for most nurses is to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing,” Galindo shared. When she started looking for a master’s program, she wanted to find one that focused on quality and patient safety. “There are not many programs that focus in those areas, and that's always been an area of interest for me.”

When she found the MPH in Healthcare Management, it checked all the boxes for her ideal graduate program. “When I saw the courses that they offered I realized it touched all of the main points that I wanted out of a master’s degree, including the quality component but also the healthcare management leadership focus. When I heard that it was local, that was a big plus.”

She was pleasantly surprised that the program consisted mostly of in-person classes. Most of her research until then had led her to degree offerings that were primarily online. “I really think as a learner, I prefer in-person courses, so that was a huge perk,” she said.

Going through the MPH in Healthcare Management with her cohort has been beneficial to her progress through the program as well, especially as she manages a full-time job on top of her coursework. “We work very much as a team,” Galindo shared. “We are all from different professional backgrounds, so just getting to see what area they work in and getting to learn about their different professions has been very impactful. I think it has opened my eyes to healthcare as a whole, not just focused and siloed in nursing.”

With this in mind, she focused her practicum on trying to understand areas of support needed to improve the work environment for all UMC clinical staff, not just nurses. After deploying and analyzing an employee survey, she is now building a professional quality-of-life toolkit. “It’s a toolkit accessible to all staff in case they feel like they need extra resources to be able to build their resiliency and to deal with some of the trauma they see here at the hospital,” she said.

As she looks toward the future, Galindo is ready to continue applying what she’s gained through her coursework to impact her work as Director of Nursing Special Projects at UMC. “I’m the first person to have this role. I’m trying to grow its focus and responsibilities and the projects that can be done under this role,” Galindo shared. “I’m looking forward to using what I've learned in the program and apply it to growing the position.”

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