With six months under her belt as vice president of nursing, Kristin Wade has learned a lot about the College and has identified opportunities and set goals in the areas of nursing and patient care. Learn more about her priorities and about her background in this Q&A. And don’t forget to thank her and Baylor’s other nurses for their contributions during National Nurses Week, May 6 – 12.
In your first six months at Baylor, what have you learned about the nursing environment at the College? What are you goals and priorities?
It is hard to believe that I have been here for six months! I have been overwhelmed with how welcoming and caring all of the clinical team members have been. And I have learned that while there are lots of opportunities, the nurses here at Baylor are open and receptive to new ideas and different ways of thinking about how we deliver high-quality, safe, efficient patient care. My main goal in the first year is to create a structure within which we can make these improvements. Nursing now has an “A3” management document that lists our objectives, goals and a timeline, and our work is being guided by a Nursing Leadership Council comprised of direct care RNs, nurse managers and our quality nurses. Major streams of work are around standardizing processes to be consistent across the Faculty Group Practice clinics, improving the orientation and education for our nurses and medical assistants and improving ways we communicate with and recognize the clinical team.
Where are you from and where did you attend college?
My dad was in the Air Force, and I lived in half a dozen places before the ninth grade including Ohio, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, England and Virginia. I moved “home” to Memphis for high school, and that is where my parents, siblings and many aunts, uncles and cousins all still live today. I went to Charlotte, N.C., to attend Queens College and ended up staying there after I graduated for another 26 wonderful years.
What is your professional background before joining Baylor?
After graduating from Queens College, I worked at the VA Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C., for four years as a staff nurse and then nurse manager on a big, busy med-surgery floor. From there, my career continued at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte for the next 22 years, all in the ambulatory care field and in various nursing leadership roles working with their Faculty Physicians Network and medical group.
If new to Houston, how are you liking it so far?
I am new to Houston and am loving it! I moved to Montrose, and my home is very walkable to restaurants and shops, which has been a great way to discover new places. I dove right in and have enjoyed the many varied things Houston has to offer including going to the Rodeo (twice!), the BBQ Cook Off and a Texans game; I joined the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and took a double-decker bus tour; and there is always a parade or fun festival happening.
What are some of your personal hobbies?
My favorite place to decompress and relax is sitting on the beach listening to the waves and reading a book. I also love to entertain and cook and am a bit of a foodie, and the Houston restaurants are amazing.
Anything else you want to add about yourself or your nurse colleagues?
I am so pleased to help serve as an advocate for my Baylor nurse colleagues and truly believe that our work will improve not only the care we provide for our patients, but also the work environment for our hard working nurses, medical assistants and technicians. On a special note, I want to wish a thank you and send my appreciation for all of our nurses during National Nurses Week, which is celebrated starting on May 6 and ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12. Thank a nurse when you see them!