Q & A With CNO, Joanne Miller - Carson Tahoe Health

  • What lead you to choose a career in nursing?

I grew up in a multi-generational home with my parents, maternal grandparents and maternal great grandfather. My great grandfather was a physician and at the ripe age of 6 years old, he allowed me to make house call visits with him. He said that I loved to talk to his patients. While he wanted me to become a doctor, I insisted that I wanted to be a nurse. When I was 16 years old, my 12-year old brother was diagnosed with a life threatening cancer. I saw first-hand the impact that caring and compassionate nurses made not only to the patient, but to the family.

  • Why did you choose Carson Tahoe Health?

I was seeking an opportunity in an organization whose mission and core values mirrored my own and to make significant contributions that fill my passions for eliminating preventable harm, improving the patient experience and creating a healthy work environment for all. The Carson Tahoe statement of treating the whole person; mind, body and soul resonates with my proven outcomes for improving staff engagement and the patient’s experience with their care.

  • What excites you most about your new home in Nevada?

Everything excites me! The majestic mountains, the beautiful landscape and fresh air.

  • What are some exciting new frontiers in nursing?

For the past 18 years in a row, the public selected nurses as the most honest and ethical profession and perhaps that is why the World Health Organization named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This was designated pre-pandemic and the irony is unbelievable really. I believe that for the first time ever, the most realistic image of nursing has been portrayed by real nurses sharing their stories of heroism among this pandemic.

  • What are the biggest challenges facing the nursing profession?

Sadly, communities will continue to suffer because nursing knowledge, skills and scope of practice are absent in critical decision making on the local, state and national levels. A recently created Corona-virus task force is missing a nurse!  Secondly, we are suffering from a shortage of nursing faculty, this translates to nursing students not being admitted into nursing programs.

  • How can our community best support nurses during our COVID-19 crisis?

PLEASE wear a mask and practice social distancing. Nurses and their families have made incredible sacrifices for the community and without everyone’s cooperation, the end is not in sight.