ACML Student Spotlight: Yolanda E. Stevenson
Masters in Advanced Clinical Management and Leadership Program '22
My ACML degree will enable me to take a seat at the tables where decisions are made. It has given me the skills not only to advocate for patients, but to draft proposals for policies that will have a positive impact.
Please tell us a bit about yourself; where are you from, and what do you like to do in your spare time?
I was born in Enid, Okla., and my family moved to New York City in 1987. I lived in Brooklyn for many years, and appreciated the cultural diversity found there. However, in 2015 I relocated to Rockland County for a quieter lifestyle. I really love waking each morning in the spring to little birdies chirping on my windowsill.
I love to travel, paint, and attend live jazz and performing arts events. I am also actively involved in community service. This January I prepared and donated 120 Blizzard Boxes to Meals on Wheels to help address food insecurity for seniors in my community.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
After more than a decade as a senior accountant and financial project manager in many industries, including public accounting, investment banking, transportation, and government, I decided I wanted a career that was more in line with my passion for service. The 2009 recession provided an opportunity for that change. After volunteering in medsurg at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, I knew nursing was for me, and I was licensed by 2013. It was during my clinical rotation in the Kings County Hospital that I realized my passion for the medically fragile pediatric population.
I am currently in my fifth year as the pediatric complex care manager serving a caseload of approximately 50 patients. I collaborate with the interdisciplinary care team, external stakeholders, and caregivers to ensure that these patients can remain safely within the community without repeat hospitalizations or emergency department visits.
What are you passionate about, and how has Columbia Nursing allowed you to follow that passion?
I am very passionate about service to my community and to the medically fragile pediatric population. My ACML degree will enable me to take a seat at the tables where decisions are made. It has given me the skills not only to advocate for patients, but to draft proposals for policies that will have a positive impact.
I have been able to apply the knowledge gained throughout this program in real time and contribute in a larger way to the goals of my interdisciplinary care team, for the ultimate benefit of my patients.
How has the pandemic affected your experience as a student, and your feelings about being a nurse?
As both a student and remote employee, this pandemic has strengthened my ability to be resilient and persevere in the face of adversity. It has also required flexibility and adaptability as we, in a very short time, have had to master new ways to remain connected, collaborate, and communicate with cohort and care team members. The pandemic has spotlighted the nursing profession and our contributions to the health care industry and to the lives of our patients. We are direct care providers, comforters, counselors, advocates, policy makers, and much more. I feel pride in my profession and that through my education and skills I can contribute to its expansion. As a financial professional in the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, I felt powerless to do much more than donate money. As a professional registered nurse, I no longer have that feeling.
What are your next steps after graduation?
I look forward to discovering what doors may open upon my graduation from this prestigious institution and program. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from professors, teaching assistants, and members of my cohort who have generously shared their knowledge. It is my goal to explore leadership roles that will benefit from the totality of my financial and clinical professional experience and allow me to further my education.