Feb 01, 2018

A Nurse Manager Who Is Growing the Nursing Profession

This is the tenth in a series of profiles of leaders who are part of the Campaign talking about their connections to the nursing or health care profession and their interests in healthier communities.

Dan Lose, DNP, RN, CNML is a nurse manager and leader at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, focusing on teamwork, culture, and building healthy work environments to allow nurses to practice to the full extent of their training and education to achieve high-quality patient outcomes. As one of 20 nurses named as a Breakthrough Leader in Nursing by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, he has served on the Iowa Action Coalition’s nurse residency taskforce since its inception in 2012. Dan is a member of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and American Organization of Nurse Executives. Dan is part of the Campaign Outreach Advocates for a Culture of Health program.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?    

I grew up in Rochester, Minnesota—the home of Mayo Clinic—so health care was a major aspect of our community. My dad is a dentist so I spent a lot of time with him at his office helping patients. Seeing how he treated people who needed help greatly influenced my ability to be compassionate and empathetic.

My plan was to become a dentist when I enrolled at The University of Iowa, but after volunteering in the hospital and seeing the role of nurses in the health care system, I shifted my focus. I met with quite a few nurses—both men and women—and asked them about their experiences in the profession. What I loved is that they all recognized the value of their work and were able to balance their job with their home/family life.

Can you describe your philosophical evolution from making that decision to where you are today?

My focus has shifted from finding a professional career that provides me with value and satisfaction to finding ways to grow the nursing profession to better serve our patients and the health care delivery system. Throughout my undergraduate nursing education, it became clear to me that our health care delivery system was set to undergo major changes. Since nurses cared for people everywhere—hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, health centers, etc.—they were well-positioned to be driving forces of change and improvement. As a nurse, I believe I have the perspective and knowledge of the patient experience that is needed at the decision-making table for changes that influence health care delivery.

Of all that you have accomplished, what are you most proud of?

I am most proud of all the amazing care that nurses under my leadership provide each and every day. My goal is to create and maintain a work environment that supports safe, high-quality patient care. I love receiving positive feedback from patients and/or family members about the skill and empathy of our nurses. When our nursing staff members have the resources to help patients on their journey to health and wellness, I feel I am successful in my role.

If you could change the profession in any one way, what would you change and why?

I believe that having young men open to the idea of becoming a nurse would greatly benefit the profession, and I would encourage men to strongly consider nursing as a profession, especially young men in high school or early in college.

Nurses are valued health professionals who work in all settings throughout the world.  The nursing profession has been wonderful for me; it has provided the opportunity to serve others, work with large health care teams, and utilize data to drive decision-making.

What is the most important action that nurses can take to lead the way to improve health and health care in America?

Nurses need to have the confidence that their voice matters.

Getting involved in their state nurses’ association and specialty organizations provides a vehicle for nurses to network and influence public policy. The Nurses on Boards Coalition is a great way for nurses to learn more about serving on local, state, and national governing boards!

What role do you see for yourself in building a healthier America?

I aim to continue being an advocate for health and wellness and promoting the nurse’s role and ability to help patients. The knowledge and skills that I gained through my Doctor of Nursing Practice in Health Systems have aided my ability to make changes at both the local and national levels. I use every opportunity I can to educate those around me on the role and value nurses bring to building a healthier America.