Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and Researcher -An Interview with Tamar Rodney – FRESHRN

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Who You’ll Hear

Kati Kleber, MSN RN – Nurse educator, former cardiac med-surg/stepdown and neurocritical care nurse, author, and speaker.

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I’m Ready

Tamar Rodney, PhD, MSN, RN PMHNP-BC, CNE – Board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who has worked in trauma and psychiatry. Her PhD research looked at biomarkers for PTSD in veterans with a traumatic brain injury. Her career goal is to change the way health care professionals approach diagnosis and treatment planning for individuals with mental health needs.

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What You’ll Learn:

  • Tamar Rodney is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins school of nursing as well as a board certified nurse practitioner who has worked trauma and psychiatry.
    • She finds biomarkers for PTSD in veterans. 
  • Tamar is the CEO of her nursing license. 
  • She started in a nursing home, then switched to in patient psych, she’s also done outpatient psych, ER, trauma setting for head and neck trauma, and is now in the community setting.  
  • Her favorite has been in patient psych, so you can be there for those that really need you.
    • It can be sad and very hard, but it gives you a different outlook.
    • Progress can be seen quickly, as soon as within hours. 
  • She was terrified of trauma and psych after those rotations.
    • She felt like she hit a roadblock.
    • A professor recommended that she take more psych courses, which helped her see that the more she knew, the more she wanted to know. 
  • Learning more about human behavior helps you realize why we make certain decisions, and the impact it has on your life. 
  • You can’t fix a psych patient!
    • you give them medications and tools and a different outlook so they can live life the best that they can. 
  • In mental health, you want the patient with you as long as they can to make sure that they’re OK.
    • They need to be looked at as a whole person, not just their injury. 
  •  Nursing can be hard and frustrating, but you’re learning so much as you go. 
  • Once you pass your NCLEX it opens a door to so many pathways.
    • You can use your strengths in various areas of nursing.
    • You don’t have to work at the bedside. 
  • Use what brings you joy through your nursing career, don’t just go for a certain specialty because you think it looks better. 
  • You can change lives without ever working with patients.
    • You can save thousands of lives through the research aspect of nursing.
    • You can enact literal change on a global level. 
  • For Tamar, group therapy sessions where someone says “that makes sense” it is the most rewarding feeling. It reminds her that she chose the right career. 
  • So much growth occurs through your career in nursing.
    • Some happens naturally, like promotions.
    • Other times, you see things that you would like to do, and decide to go for other certifications and degrees. 
  • Think of nursing as a platform to do other things.
    • Pay attention to things that really excite you.
    • Give yourself permission to get what you want. 

3 pieces of advice to young Tamar.

  • It’s totally worth it. What your doing is not just for a job, it’s for a career. 
  • Nursing is so much more than a paycheck, “Service to others is the rent we pay to be on this earth.”
  • Yes, you can do it all! You can teach and research and see patients.
  • It’s great to have a fabulous salary while you’re doing what you love and saving lives.
    • While you serve your patients, you should feel confident to ask for what you’re worth. 
  • There should be a higher value financially as well as in how nurses are perceived. 
  • As a nurse, you need to be the advocate and negotiator for all nurses.
    • If you’re skilled in public speaking or feel like you could run for office, you could impact millions and save lives. 

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