CNO furthers her education by achieving doctorate
story and photo by James Coburn
INTEGRIS Health Edmond was established as a special health care facility for the community and surrounding area, said Angie Kamermayer, RN, DNP, vice president and chief nursing officer. Kamermayer joined the Edmond team when the hospital opened in 2011 and recently earned her doctorate of nursing practice at the University of Oklahoma.
As was the case with other professionals hired, Kamermayer was chosen for her concern for the welfare of others and being very people centered.
“We very much promote our nurses to be educated at the highest level that they could possibly be,” Kamermayer said. “And so we have taken advantage of a lot of the programs INTEGRIS has sponsored through education.”
Nursing academic loans and scholarships are available and health career support. Tuition reimbursement is another perk. No matter what level a nurse wants to achieve, INTEGRIS provides support at every level.
Kamermayer was inspired to become a nurse because of her mother. She told Angie she thought she would be a good nurse. Kamermayer did not initially go that direction. She had an interest in marketing and public relations.
“When I studied at the University of Oklahoma I found myself discovering what is really important to me. It was more along the lines of connecting with people that needed help,” she said. “And nursing was just the ideal for me to look at.”
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Oklahoma. A decade later, Kamermayer pursued her Master of Science in Nursing degree at OU.
“I had gotten to the point in my career where I felt like I needed to develop more as a profession nurse,” she said. “I really liked taking care of patients but I thought there might be more.”
“So I began that journey of becoming an advanced practice nurse.” There were few advanced specialists at Baptist Medical Center at the time, but she had the privilege of working for a fine team. They had established a maternal fetal medicine department and she was able at that time to take care of high risk patients.
She made the transition into management not long after being a clinical nurse specialist. She knew that she wanted to earn her doctorate of nursing practice. But the timing wasn’t right as she was raising a family and establishing a career.
“But I knew at some point in my life I would like to go back and work on my doctorate. It just took me 20 years to do it,” she said.
The doctorate program was wonderful and rigorous at OU, she continued. It had been a long time since she was a student. Most of training was online, she said. Kamermayer embraced the technology that was available for her to learn.
“I don’t know if I could have done it any other way,” she said. “Because in a program like this you have a little more independence with your time. So you can go to work and in the evening when you’re done, you can work on your studies.”
There are a lot of competencies learned in the doctorate of nursing practice program. One of the great things is she learned to look at science differently, and examine evidence based practice to further learn how to produce a patient outcome of value.
“Many times I think there are great programs out there, but how to get them implemented into your system may be the most difficult challenge,” she said. “And that is the one thing in this program that taught me how to use implementation science to figure out how you go about bringing change.”
Many times in research there are findings that go unpracticed for years, Kamermayer said. Part of that is because nurses don’t know how to take it to fruition. So the value of having a DNP is valuable, because they have had training about how to use evidence and convert it to current day practice that is practical to current day resources, she said.
“So that’s the value, I think, I gained out of the program,” Kamermayer said.
INTEGRIS Health Edmond has received a lot of positive acclaim in recent years. It’s not a stagnant place, Kamermayer said. There is always room to grow.
“INTEGRIS has been very supportive. They’ve always been an encouragement to me and other people that have pursued higher degrees,” Kamermayer said. “They never required that of me. But being at a place like this motivates me to be my best and prepare myself at the highest level.”