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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

Nursing Careers:
Administration in Nursing--
Quality/Risk/Infection Control


Taylor Burke
RN, BSN ('11)

What drew you to the career of nursing administrator?

I actually was not drawn to administration, but am beyond happy that I "fell into" this side of nursing. Opportunities to see a different side of nursing presented and I ran with them! What keeps me [in this line of work] is most important: I love helping others be successful in their career.

How did you prepare for it?

Be open to learn! A lot of being on this side of nursing is being willing to learn anything and everything about a wide range of topics. Embrace your leadership. I think the most crucial component of being in Quality is being a strong leader who  engages others in necessary practice changes that ultimately improve care for patients.

What do you like the most about this career?

  • Every day is different. Working on a nursing unit every day is different as well, but working behind the scenes is a different kind of stimulation. You are constantly mentally challenged to problem solve and collaborate with key stakeholders to get things solved.
  • You get to build people to recognize how to not only provide care to patients, but to provide that care in the safest way possible for both parties.
  • In Quality you are a catalyst for people on the front lines to be successful in the care they provide.

What are the biggest challenges?

Getting your foot in the door is probably one of the biggest barriers, especially if you are early in your career.

It is also hard to understand what "quality" is and to get your head wrapped around the fact that you are not "losing your identity" as a nurse. You are still just as much a nurse, you are just a little more behind the scenes--diving into the work of "what can we do to prevent another patient from having that adverse health event happen" and "what can we do as an entire facility to work on health care acquired infections." Embracing a different mind set for this side of nursing is challenging, but also incredibly rewarding as you impact an entire organization.

What advice would you have for a student interested in this field?

  • Have an open mind. When I got out of nursing school I saw administration/quality as "the dark side" or "where you go to retire." This could not be further from the truth. I work side by side with nurses and physicians every day trying to tackle those difficult situations where they can't stop what they are doing to figure out and fix. It is incredibly empowering.

  • Ask a lot of questions.

  • Even within the umbrella of quality, there are so many areas in which you can work. Ask questions to find what you love. Even if you don't choose to work with this area, take the time to partner with your infection control person at your facility. You can learn a lot, and your nursing practice will be improved by having a much more broad scope of understanding.

More about Taylor Burke:

I am currently residing in the Twin Cities, where I am a manager over Quality, Risk, PI, Safety, Patient Satisfaction and Infection Control.

I had never even been to the state of Minnesota when I interviewed for this position. I just went for it, and it has paid off ten-fold. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things or places.

You never know where your career may go--I certainly didn't, and it has been an amazing journey!

Burke staffed the Nursing Administration booth (focusing on Quality, Risk, Infection Control) at the 3/26/15 Online Alumni Mentoring event. Go to http://www.uwyo.edu/nursing/alumni/uwaa-nursing-chapter/online-mentoring-event-2015.html for more information.

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Page last updated: 1/19/2017

Taylor Burke

Taylor Burke, RN, BSN
"I think the most crucial component of being in Quality is being a strong leader who engages others in necessary practice changes that ultimately improve care for patients."

Taylor staffs Nursing Administration booth at online mentoring event


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