2019 Board of Directors Election Candidates

Amos Schonrock, MAN, RN, PHN, CNOR, CSSM

Amos Schonrock_Picture

It gives me great pride to tell people I am an operating room nurse. It is a topic I can talk about at length. I have worked in healthcare for over 22 years and I have been a perioperative professional for over 17 years. I have worked as a Certified Surgical Technologist, Staff Registered Circulating Nurse, Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager, and Nursing Leader. My profession has allowed me to practice in a variety of professional settings including academic medical centers, free-standing surgical hospitals, Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers, community-based hospitals, and academic colleges of nursing. I am currently a Nursing Practice Leader for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, as well as a lecturer at the University of Iowa College of Nursing. These roles integrate my previous work and passions related to perioperative healthcare while also allowing me to incorporate education, quality, and safety for perioperative patients and professionals

I also have been an active member of AORN for over ten years and previously served on the Board of Directors for AORN Hiawathaland Chapter # 2402.

Some of the places I have worked include:

Mercy Medical Center- Sioux City, IA
Dunes Surgical Hospital- (formerly Siouxland Surgery Center), Dakota Dunes, SD
Mayo Clinic Rochester Campus, Rochester, MN

Why do you wish to serve as a member of the CCI Board of Directors?
I am eager to assist and promote CCI’s efforts to continue leading the way in credentialing, and would like to serve as an active driver in the future of nursing credentialing and research. When there are questions regarding the best perioperative patient care that have not yet been answered, CCI should be the sentinel resource sought by nursing professionals in their quest to guarantee safe, evidence-based patient care. There have been many intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have motivated me to continue, expand, and advance my ongoing relationship with CCI. I strive for excellence and a desire for both my colleagues and myself to practice at the highest potential, with the patients and the community we serve being the ultimate benefactors of our dedication to qualified and expert care. I am inspired by the nurses and allied health staff that I instruct on a daily basis in the operating room and in the College of Nursing. I am fueled by the genuine sense of curiosity and deliberate inquiry that accompanies shaping the future of perioperative practice. As a leader in perioperative care. I believe that all nursing professionals have a duty and an obligation to shape future professional expectations and standards for all perioperative healthcare members.

What specific skills and qualifications can you contribute to this role?
My professional past and current practice offer a distinctive lens, including current work in quality, patient safety, staff safety, and staff education. My previous work as a Magnet champion in the perioperative setting of academic medical centers afforded me the opportunity to evaluate the ANCC requirements for their designation. In my current role, I witness, on a daily basis, the direct link between proper staff education, hands-on training, simulation of patient events, and safe patient care. This multi-tiered perspective is supported by my previous experience as a staff RN, surgical services manager, nurse educator and surgical technologist. For the past four years I have served on the AORN National Committee on Education, working with perioperative educators from across the United States to increase professional practice and accountability for all AORN members via education initiatives and recommendations. I have also completed additional post-graduate training in nursing curriculum, program development, and issues in nursing education. I have explored, analyzed, and compared standardized testing measures, including the criteria for both the CNOR and CSSM exams offered by CCI. My previous work as a nurse manager has given me exposure to creating and managing a budget for a surgical services department; these budget components included capital equipment, FTE, payroll, and central services. I am adept at diplomacy, collaboration, and communication across various disciplines and practice areas.

How do you promote continued competency, certification, and lifelong learning?
I have had the privilege of working with CCI multiple times over the years. It has been an honor to serve on the CNOR exam review committee. Serving on this committee for the past two cycles has provided me with the ability to network with perioperative nursing professionals and perioperative practice content experts from around the country while also working in partnership with international testing auditors and CCI test developers. It is apparent to me through my current work with CCI that all of their employees are dedicated to their mission of leading the way in promoting  safe, quality patient care and professional development. CCI continuously seeks out the highest quality employees to represent the organization and to further all areas of professional practice in both the healthcare and credentialing arena. Overseeing and guiding where CCI leverages their time, efforts, human capital and financial resources is critical. It requires adapting to ongoing challenges and expectations from society, healthcare recipients, governmental oversight organizations, and fiscal management of healthcare dollars. I am confident that CCI, as a forward-thinking organization, will continue to adapt to changing needs of the ever evolving healthcare landscape. The scope of influence CCI offers reaches far beyond the individual nurse and single patient interaction because CCI demands excellence from those who carry their certifications. I have worked with countless nurses to begin discussing and researching what is needed to achieve professional certification. I continually advocate for my peers and speak to members of my nursing leadership department to provide ongoing financial and and budgeted time for staff certification preparation. I also look forward to continuing my work with CCI as an exam writer for the CSSM exam in 2019.

Why did you originally seek certification and why do you maintain it?
Professional certification is the manifestation of time and effort by the nurse which culminate in optimal patient care. My relationship with CCI began before I completed my nursing degree. Prior to obtaining my BSN, I had a career as a Certified Surgical Technologist. I have always strived to obtain the highest level of personal practice in all of my professions. Certification is one way of demonstrating this personal and professional commitment to myself, my colleagues, and the patients we serve. It was no surprise to my contemporaries that I had begun my research and knowledge acquisition of CNOR certification prior to obtaining my RN licensure. In addition to CNOR, I became the first individual in my organization (and one of seven people in the state of Iowa) to achieve the CSSM certification. I pursued the CSSM credential as both a personal and professional goal, while also demonstrating to my peers and colleagues the significance of ongoing accountability to professional practice and certification. I take pride in achieving the highest standards of knowledge, practice, and patient care – all of which are exemplified by CCI’s certifications.

What is your vision for the future of nursing certification?  How can you contribute to your vision in this role?
CCI is aggressively pursuing avenues to research and identify the best answers to patient perioperative care. This research-based investigatory undertaking should be underscored with fiscal responsibility by the Board of Directors, and the allocation of application time and resources, including human capital. This will involve the recruitment and retention of nursing research scientists, and experts in areas of perioperative and nursing care, to explore the relationship between professional certification and improved patient outcomes. This ongoing investigatory endeavor allows OR nurses to immediately see the relationship between their continued expert care and improved patient outcomes. The benefits of this are significant. The nurse sees increased career satisfaction. This leads to greater retention by hospitals of their high-quality staff. The patient benefits from quality-based care with fewer days of hospitalization. The hospital sees a return on the investment in their staff that far exceeds the cost of test-prep and the cost of certification. Nurses have greater professional satisfaction and retention of high performing peers in their professional practice areas. Possessing both the practice and economic insights into certification in the perioperative setting will allow me to collaborate with all individuals in the CCI network to advance nursing certifications, while galvanizing and spotlighting the link between professional certified nursing practice and high quality patient care.



Diane Allie, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC

Diane Allie_Picture

I have in excess of twenty years of experience in healthcare and my clinical expertise and passion are in perioperative nursing. I began my career in surgical services as a staff nurse and have advanced to my current role as Director of Surgical Services. In my career, I have served in several surgical leadership positions within multiple systems/facilities. I am passionate about patient safety and believe that continuing education and professional nurse empowerment are key components to exceptional patient care. I am a member of AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses), ANA (American Nurse Association), and ACHE (American College of Healthcare Executives). I will obtain my Fellow status with ACHE in December.

Why do you wish to serve as a member of the CCI Board of Directors?
I wish to serve on the Board of Directors because I believe strongly in the vision and values of CCI and feel that I would be a great advocate for the advancement of the mission. Nurses must continue to learn and develop professionally; nursing certifications help validate specialty skills and abilities and assist with professional nursing advancement.

What specific skills and qualifications can you contribute to this role?
If I am chosen as a Board member, I will bring exceptional communication and analytical skills, in addition to a high level of competency in all areas of the surgical and leadership environment. I collaborate well and always advocate for the highest patient care standards.

How do you promote continued competency, certification, and lifelong learning?
I promote continued competency, certification and lifelong learning by modeling this behavior. I continue to advance my skills and abilities by learning and growing in my profession and by advancing certifications in areas of expertise. I mentor staff and fellow nurses and always encourage advancement and validation of skills.

Why did you originally seek certification and why do you maintain it?
I originally sought my CNOR certification as a way to validate my expertise in the area of Surgical nursing. I maintain it because it is a standard by which others recognize quality nursing care and sound nursing judgement. I believe that maintaining certification demonstrates my commitment to the specialty and keeping my knowledge current about best practices and standards of care.

What is your vision for the future of nursing certification?  How can you contribute to your vision in this role?
I would love to see all nurses seek certification in their areas of expertise. This is important because over the course of my career, I have observed the nursing field becoming increasingly specialized. It is nearly impossible for a nurse to be an expert or even maintain proficiency in all clinical care areas. I believe that getting involved and advocating for certification in practice is a key component to seeing specialty certification become a recognized and valuable standard of nursing.


Jennifer Misajet, MHA, RN, CNOR, CSSM

Jennifer Misajet_Picture


I have been a registered nurse specializing in perioperative clinical nursing leadership for more than 25 years. My experience includes a variety of roles: scrubbing and circulating as a staff nurse, PACU staff nurse, teaching/precepting perioperative nurses, and leadership positions ranging from charge nurse to system/regional administrator. I maintain both CNOR and CSSM certifications. I have a Nursing diploma, a Bachelor’s in Nursing, and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. I am currently pursuing a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) with a focus on Executive Nursing Leadership.

Why do you wish to serve as a member of the CCI Board of Directors?
I wish to support the mission of promoting and facilitating professional certification in perioperative nursing roles. I have greatly benefited from my association with CCI over the years and have valued its dedication to and focus on perioperative nursing certification. CCI provides support in study materials, certification review classes, new certification opportunities in leadership, and publications/marketing to support certification in the workplace. It is important to me professionally to be able to give back and actively support this organization since I have benefited from their valuable services over the years.

What specific skills and qualifications can you contribute to this role?
My specific skills and qualifications include an active perioperative nursing practice in both front line clinical and leadership roles spanning greater than 25 years. I have maintained CNOR certification since 1996 and obtained CSSM certification during the inaugural exam in 2015. I have been active on several CCI committees to better understand item writing, test scoring, and to support the certification activities of CCI. I believe both my clinical and nursing leadership experience will support CCI in bringing the needs, challenges and expectations in today’s healthcare environment to the certification organization.

How do you promote continued competency, certification, and lifelong learning?
In my own practice I support competency, certification and lifelong learning by staying current in the perioperative nursing specialty and evolutions in the practice. I maintain two perioperative certifications personally and am currently pursuing my Doctorate. I promote competency, certification and lifelong values in the workplace by creating and approving job requirements to include both initial and ongoing specialty competency, by promoting and funding study materials and certification costs, by supporting and developing certification pay differentials, and by providing flexible schedules and tuition assistance to those pursuing certifications, in-service training, and formal academic coursework. I create and maintain a culture of learning by prioritizing resources to support success in various learning endeavors.

Why did you originally seek certification and why do you maintain it?
I originally sought certification while working in a critical access hospital as Director of Perioperative Services. I wanted to promote the importance of certification in all types of institutions, both large and small and had great surgeon support for this endeavor. All of the eligible RNs studied for the exam together, passed the exam, and were able to say that all perioperative RNs at this small hospital were CNOR certified. I maintain certification today because I continue to believe that certification demonstrates not only a commitment to specialty practice, but also an understanding of the “why” not just the “how” in perioperative nursing. Leaders should model specialty certification and promote the value of certification in their own career for those they lead.

What is your vision for the future of nursing certification?  How can you contribute to your vision in this role?
My vision for the future of nursing certification is that certification will be seen as essential versus optional for ongoing nursing professional development and competency. Once eligibility requirements for work experience are met, certification should be completed and maintained while working in the specialty at minimum. As a CCI Board member, I will contribute by supporting this vision with my esteemed colleagues to educate, lead, and support activities focused on professional certification in perioperative nursing. Success lies in support of the maintenance of a vibrant organization which offers a full portfolio of opportunities for certification preparation, content, and testing opportunities.


Josh Wymer, MS, MA, BSN, RN, CSSM, CNOR, LCDR, NC, USN

Josh Wymer_Picture


I completed my undergraduate nursing degree in 2007 and the U.S. Navy’s perioperative training program in 2011. I have held the CNOR credential since 2013 and was the first military nurse of any service branch to hold the CSSM credential. A prior enlisted Corpsman with 16 years of military service, I have held diverse inpatient and outpatient leadership positions while completing three overseas deployments, with the most recent being to the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit, Kandahar, Afghanistan, as Department Head, Main Operating Room. I have served as a staff nurse, charge nurse, specialty lead, educator, clinical coordinator, and department head in surgical services.

I hold a BSN, an MS in Project Management, an MA in Enterprise Strategic Planning, and am currently completing an MSN in Health Care Informatics. I have served as a CNOR Coach and past member of the True North Committee and Certification Council Working Group. I am a lead contributor to the current edition of CSSM Exam Prep and am also the Chair of the Recertification Committee. I am a lifetime member of AORN as well as a current member of the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). I was selected to AORN’s inaugural “Forty Under 40” for 2017 and also hold many other community and academic awards, meritorious military decorations, campaign medals, and service ribbons. I am an active community volunteer and high school youth mentor in the greater San Diego area.

Why do you wish to serve as a member of the CCI Board of Directors?
CCI represents innovation and excellence across the full spectrum of perioperative nursing, and it would be a distinct privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of CCI’s ongoing evolution to meet the needs of our growing community.

What specific skills and qualifications can you contribute to this role?
Today’s health care environment presents opportunities and challenges for the art and the science of our profession. As a mission-driven, team-oriented health care leader with a foundation of excellence in surgical services, process improvement, program management, and strategic planning, I would bring focus, energy, and commitment to this role.

How do you promote continued competency, certification, and lifelong learning?
It is critical that leaders serve as role models and motivators for their teams. Personal commitment to lifelong learning, professional competency, and pursuit of multiple professional certifications is an important part of who I am as a professional. When we believe our efforts bring value, it is much easier to transmit that value to our teams. It is a privilege to be a perioperative nurse, and there is no end to the opportunities for continued advancement of our community.

Why did you originally seek certification and why do you maintain it?
Entering our field through the Navy’s perioperative training pipeline, CNOR certification always represented the standard whereby one was considered an engaged and proven professional in perioperative nursing practice. Both personally and professionally, achieving CNOR and CSSM certification represented the achievement of significant milestones. It is a privilege to continue to hold these credentials, and they carry significant weight, both internally and externally in our community.

What is your vision for the future of nursing certification? How can you contribute to your vision in this role?
Certification represents a commitment to excellence and the spirit of caring that have long defined the nursing profession. As nursing continues to evolve, there will be opportunities to further the profession through the enhancement of existing programs alongside the potential for future expansion in our various scopes of practice. There is no doubt that CCI will continue to be a critical voice for nurses as both an advocate and a champion for our profession as we move into that future.


Leigh Anne Piper, MSN, RN, CSSM, CNOR

Leigh Anne Piper_Picture


I am currently the Vice President of Physician Relations and Practice Management at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Iowa. Prior to that, I served as Director of Perioperative and Cardiac Services at Mercy. I began my nursing career in the OR at FHN in Freeport, Illinois as a circulator, anesthesia assist, and perioperative nurse educator. I also served as a pain resource nurse in FHN’s pain clinic.

As a firm believer in volunteerism, I have served on AORN’s Peer Review and Awards Committees, as well as on CCI’s Exam Writing Committee. For my BSN capstone project, I created the Pitter Patter Pantry, a registered non-profit baby pantry dedicated to serving area children of families enrolled in the WIC program. I continue to serve on the pantry’s Board of Directors. I also serve as a Board Member and Executive Committee member for the Carroll/Lee/Ogle CASA organization.  

Why do you wish to serve as a member of the CCI Board of Directors?
As a result of my belief in the importance of volunteering and servant leadership, I feel that serving on the CCI Board of Directors is an opportunity not only to give back to the perioperative community, but also a way to contribute to the advancement of patient safety and quality care outcomes as a whole. As the beneficiary of CCI’s programs and resources, I have seen firsthand the quality and rigor of its materials. These characteristics are crucial to the task of maintaining the quality of the certification process. I would be proud to be a part of that process.

What specific skills and qualifications can you contribute to this role?
My career experience as a Perioperative and Cardiac Services Director and as VP of Physician Relations and Practice Management has helped me to develop valuable leadership and critical thinking skills. Working as a perioperative nurse educator and nursing instructor taught me how to utilize evidence-based practice to develop and deliver educational content. Serving on the AORN Awards Committee and CCI’s Exam Writing Committee has given me experience at a national level allowing me to put my perioperative knowledge to work for the benefit of others and to create new professional networks.

How do you promote continued competency, certification, and lifelong learning?
I believe it is important to lead by example. Maintaining my CNOR and CSSM certifications in my new role as VP shows the value in staying abreast of current perioperative and leadership issues to nursing staff, nursing leaders, and physicians. Serving on our facility’s Magnet reaccreditation team helps drive higher standards of nursing practice as well as quality and safety standards for our organization. Magnet standards emphasize the importance of continuing education and certification. Willingness to serve on AORN and CCI committees illustrates the importance of becoming involved at the national level as well as the importance of networking. As Director of Perioperative and Cardiac Services, our unit became CNOR Strong and continues to maintain this distinction.

Why did you originally seek certification and why do you maintain it?
My belief in leading by example was the driving force for seeking my original CNOR certification while working as perioperative nurse educator. I felt that it was important to validate my surgical nursing knowledge if I was going to be responsible for developing, implementing, and precepting my nursing colleagues. After I became Director, I felt, once again, that I was compelled to set an example to my staff to show the importance of certification. I have maintained my CNOR certification and have also pursued my CSSM certification. There is an abundance of literature that supports the evidence that patient care outcomes are improved when care is planned and delivered by certified nurses. If our goal is to promote nurse certification, then I believe our perioperative leaders must lead the way.

What is your vision for the future of nursing certification? How can you contribute to your vision in this role?
My vision for the future of nursing certification is that certification becomes the norm and not the exception. According to a statistic I recently read in Nurse.com, only 40% of nurses are certified. As the nation strives for an 80% BSN rate by 2020, I believe it is equally as important to increase nurse certification. As a profession, we will not be taken seriously if we are not committed to validating our knowledge. However, the certification process can be intimidating and there may be several barriers: cost of the study materials/exam; amount of time needed to study; fear of test-taking; fear of failure – the list is endless. As a perioperative leader, I believe that I can help other nurses overcome some of these barriers. I can also contribute to increasing the percentage of certified nurses by continuing to maintain my certifications (leading by example) and by remaining involved with AORN and CCI as they work to advance perioperative nursing knowledge.

 

Eligibility to vote for CCI Board of Director candidates requires that you are an active CCI certificant and hold a current CNOR, CSSM, CNS-CP and/or CRNFA credential.



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