Editor’s note: Each month, the Society of Hospital Medicine puts the spotlight on some of our most active members who are making substantial contributions to hospital medicine. Log on to www.hospitalmedicine.org/getinvolved for more information on how you can lend your expertise to help SHM improve the care of hospitalized patients.
This month, The Hospitalist spotlights Lorraine Britting, ANP, SFHM, clinical director of advanced practice in cardiology medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. Ms. Britting has been an SHM member for over 10 years, has served on various SHM committees, and was one of the first nurse practitioners to earn the Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation.
How did you become a hospital medicine nurse practitioner, and when did you join SHM?
I was a nurse working in a CCU and MICU for 19 years when I graduated from a master’s program as a nurse practitioner (NP) in adult care. I thought I was going to work in the outpatient side after graduation, but my experience was much more suited to hospital medicine.
My first job in 2004 was as a hospitalist in a very small community hospital affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I was the first NP to work as an inpatient provider there, which was challenging, but I had the opportunity to wear many hats and be involved with numerous quality initiatives that helped me grow as a provider and a leader. I was working as the clinical manager of three hospitalist programs under the director by the time I left. I now work in inpatient cardiology and am the director of advanced practice providers (APPs) for cardiology medicine. I joined SHM in 2005 when it was a small but rapidly growing society, and I started work on the NP/PA Committee. I was also involved in the Hospital Quality and Patient Safety Committee for 6 years and worked as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Describe your role on the Membership Committee. What is the committee currently working on?
I am finishing my 3rd year on the committee. In the last few months, we have been focusing on member engagement. We have collected information on why members choose to join SHM and what deters potential members from joining SHM and we are developing strategies to build and retain our membership. The Membership Committee also reviews Fellows applications and discusses modifications of requirements each year.
As an NP, I have unique insight into motivations for why other APPs would join SHM and which membership benefits are most valuable. I find that many APPs join SHM because they feel that SHM treats them as equals, not junior members, as in some other physician organizations.
What does the Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation mean to you?
I am grateful that SHM allows all members to be a part of the Fellows program, and I was honored to be one of the first NPs to become a Senior Fellow. Many medical societies allow APPs to join but do not offer the opportunity to become Fellows.
The Senior Fellowship application was a rigorous process and required experience in multiple areas, including quality projects, hospital committees, SHM Annual Conference attendance, and other clinical and nonclinical work that advances the profession.
As a nurse practitioner, which SHM resources do you find most valuable?
As a specialist NP, it’s easy for me to be current in cardiology but harder to keep current in general medicine. I find the clinical information very helpful to keep me up to date on hospital medicine. The Journal of Hospital Medicine and The Hospitalist are must reads, and the Annual Conference is, of course, very informative. I also enjoy the conversations on the Hospital Medicine Exchange and feel that the Choosing Wisely campaign is an excellent contribution to the goal of cost containment in everyday practice.
One of the best features of SHM is that I can meet other clinicians from around the country and around the world who have innovations or novel ideas that I can bring back to my institution.
What advice do you have for nurse practitioners as their role in hospital medicine continues to evolve?
I say to my staff that they should always say yes. Yes to continuing education, yes to opportunities for growth and advancement, yes to promotions, yes to research, etc. Careers develop in nonlinear ways, and you have to follow the opportunities as they come.
Ms. Steele is the marketing communications specialist at the Society of Hospital Medicine.