Two area nurses selected to be Vermont Nursing Leadership Fellows


BENNINGTON -- Two nurses from southwestern Vermont have been chosen to be Vermont Nurse Leadership Fellows by the Vermont Action Coalition, which is part of Gov. Peter Shumlin's Blue Ribbon Commission on Nursing.

The two nurses, John Green of Southwestern Vermont Healthcare, and Eileen Rice, assistant professor of nursing at Southern Vermont College, will join 23 other nurses from across the state in a program that will, according to Mary Val Palumbo, co-lead of the VAC and professor of nursing at the University of Vermont, "prepares nurse fellows to lead and inform healthcare decision-making by leveraging their frontline perspective and providing additional insight into the business and financing of healthcare." More than 50 nurses were nominated for the program.

Green currently works at Southwestern Vermont Health Care as a medical-surgical clinical coordinator, in which he provides direction to staff on clinical issues. Carol Conroy, the hospital's chief nursing officer and vice-president of operations, said, "John is a strong patient advocate, as well as a supporter of collaborative practice between nursing and other healthcare providers. He models transformational leadership and exemplary professional practice, and encourages innovation based on evidence-based practice to improve the outcomes of care for the people we serve." Formerly a U.S. Army paramedic, Green is enrolled in a master's in nursing administration program at Kaplan University. He received his associate's degree from Vermont Technical College and his bachelor's in nursing from Kaplan in 2012.

Rice is a registered nurse who has taught in the RN-BSN and Associate Degree Nursing Programs at SVC since 2006. Newly hired SVC division of nursing chair Mary Botter said, "Our program is fortunate to have faculty such as Dr. Rice to benefit our students every day." Rice holds a Ph.D in education, with a specialization in nursing education, from Capella University, a master's in nursing from Pace University, and a bachelor's in biology from Middlebury College.

"I feel honored to participate in this leadership program," said Rice, "and look forward to bringing back to SVC the many things I will learn. We continually impress on our nursing students the importance of leadership."

During the program, fellows will work with Betty Rambur, professor of nursing and health policy at the University of Vermont, who was nominated to the Green Mountain Care board by Shumlin. Fellows will learn leadership skills, strategies for career development, how health policy is developed and implemented, and other information deemed essential for them to bring back to their place of employment.

Fellows were selected for their demonstrated commitment to nursing, for the breadth of their volunteer activities, and for the ability to articulate their goals, especially goals broader than the hospital or school at which they work, said Angie Chapple-Sokol, VAC outreach coordinator. "Greater consideration was given to nurses who were not shy about speaking up, and who demonstrated, according to their nominators, qualities of leadership," she said.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB


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