My career started in nursing, when career choices were essentially clinical or management of clinical departments. Less than ten percent of my graduation class was men. They stood out among the sea of capped female classmates. A man choosing a career in nursing was a rarity then. A lot has changed in nursing and in opportunities for nurses.
President Obama is nominating Marilyn Tavenner, a nurse, for the administrator of Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. She has been the principal deputy administrator under Dr. Berwick, who resigns his role as acting administrator this month.
Ms. Tavenner’s career includes staff nursing, hospital administration and secretary of Health and Human Services for the state of Virginia. Ms. Tavenner is not the first woman or nurse to be the administrator of CMS. Carolyne Davis, also a nurse, served in this capacity in the early 80’s, when CMS was known as the Health Care Financing Administration
In the midst of the current hot debate about balancing the budget by reducing the budget associated with Medicare and Medicaid, test your knowledge of the history of CMS. http://www.cms.gov/History/Downloads/QUIZ08.pdf
While the number of men entering nursing has increased substantially over the years, the number of women in healthcare management and leadership roles continues to lag. Assuming the senate confirms Ms. Tavenner, women and the nursing profession will have one more role model, thus increasing the percentage of women taking charge.
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