Tara O'Connor

The program gave me the confidence and skills to be a greater advocate for safer and quality patient care.

Tara graduated from the Master’s of Science in Nursing: Clinical Nurse Leader at the University of San Francisco in Summer 2017.

Tara is currently a Transitions Program Nurse Case Manager at San Francisco medical center, and also held this role during her time as a Nurse Scholar. Tara has made a significant impact on the Readmission Risk Score initiative in Northern California.

What is the name of your capstone project/dissertation title?

Implementing Risk Tools to Prevent Hospital Readmission

What impact did your project have on your career?

I learned how to assess for necessary change within my microsystem and the tools to develop and implement a performance improvement project. My project changed the operation of our program be redesigning the work flow and proving necessary services to those who may benefit most from them. It has not changed what I do but has changed how I do it.

What impact did your project have on quality metrics, change in practice, and/or clinical outcomes data?

My project has had indirect results on quality metrics relating to hospital readmission rates in the GSFA service area. The medication risk tool that was developed and piloted as part of my project continues to be the tool that our program utilizes.

Please describe how your project has continued, or how it has continued to make an impact on your unit post-graduation.

The new interdisciplinary processes developed by my project to operationalize the organizations’ Readmission Risk Tool remain in operation today. The Medication Risk Tool that was modified and piloted in my project is the tool we continue to use. Our team did continue to make further modifications of the tool as part of the continuation of my project. My project led to a joint publication by one of my pharmacy colleagues and myself on the role of pharmacists in patients transitions in care.

How has this degree program affected your professional growth and leadership?

The program gave me the confidence and skills to be a greater advocate for safer and quality patient care. It provided me with a model to improve performance at the clinical level. It has provided me with the language and skills to leverage my proposals for change at the clinical level.

How has this degree program impacted your personal life?

It has improved my job satisfaction and, in this way, positively impacted my quality of life.

What “words of wisdom” would you like to share with potential scholars interested in advancing their education through a Nurse Scholars Academy program?

Do it! It will broaden your perspective in ways you never imagined, and it will revitalize your passion for your profession. It will be a decision that you will always be grateful for making.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the Nurse Scholars Academy?

Thank you for the incredible opportunity, I enjoyed the program immensely. I would love to put the skills that I have learned to even greater use and hope that Kaiser will pilot the CNL role in the future.