Rama Walker is passionate about caring for people, and as a nurse leader, she has the privilege of caring for people whose career is caretaking.
Walker advocates for nurses and women, pushing them to be their best version. She knows better than anyone that nurses are innovative, caring, resilient, and well-rounded individuals who can adapt and thrive in challenging environments.
As a seasoned nurse with over 14 years of experience, Walker brings a unique perspective to her role as the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Nurseify.
The series highlights healthcare leaders who are prominent figures in their organizations and are making transformational impacts in nursing.
Meet Rama Walker, CNO and COO of Nurseify, Inc.
Talk about your role in nursing.
I started my career in home health and quickly advanced into leadership after a few months. I have always known that I had a ‘big picture’ mindset and wanted to support the team in patient care. Before joining Nurseify, I most recently served as the administrator and led facility operations for two freestanding emergency rooms for HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast, which performed over 38,000 patient visits yearly. I have also held clinical leadership roles at HCA Houston Healthcare West and other healthcare organizations in the Houston market.
How long have you worked in the nursing field?
I have been a nurse for over 16 years and still cannot believe how much time has passed.
Why did you become a nurse?
I have always been nurturing toward others. I figured out early on that the key to a happy life is doing something that combines your passion, purpose, and skills. I was fortunate enough to find that in nursing. When I was in high school, I was in HOSA-Future Health Professionals. It was a program that exposed us to different careers in the healthcare field. I went in wanting to be a pediatrician and came out knowing wholeheartedly that I was meant to be a nurse.
What are the most important attributes of today’s nursing leaders?
Today’s nursing leaders need to be resilient, innovative, and caring. Healthcare is a dynamic environment, and these attributes will allow the nurse leader to find success and longevity.
What does being a nursing leader mean to you, and what are you most proud of?
Being a nurse leader allows me to take care of the people that take care of the people. I serve my nursing team and remove barriers so they can focus on providing high-quality care to their patients or whomever they serve.
Tell us about your career path and how you ascended to that role.
I began my career as a staff nurse in home health and quickly learned the clinical side of nursing and the operational side. During this time, I discovered my passion for being a clinician and developed a strong interest in understanding how everything worked together. I was fascinated with the interdisciplinary team. I then went on to outpatient care and progressed there in my leadership journey.
In addition to overseeing clinical operations, I took charge of a department that involved budget management and marketing strategies to enhance patient volume. These skills proved invaluable when I assumed the role of an administrator for two freestanding emergency rooms. I serve as both the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Nurseify, an on-demand, gig-nurses marketplace. Nurseify facilitates nurses in sharing their experience and availability with healthcare facilities while also granting these facilities direct access to nurses who meet their specific clinical assignment requirements.
What is the most significant challenge facing nursing today?
The most significant challenge facing nursing today is creating and sustaining healthy work environments. It is a challenge that impacts all the threats we face in nursing: violence towards nurses, nurse burnout, inadequate staffing, and high turnover rates.
As a nursing leader, how are you working to overcome this challenge?
I work towards this by promoting self-care and work-life balance and partnering with key stakeholders regarding safe staffing. Furthermore, in partnership with Nurseify, I am committed to providing and enhancing ongoing education and professional development for myself and the nursing community.
What nursing leader inspires you the most and why?
Throughout my career, I have encountered so many great leaders that choosing the most inspirational one is incredibly challenging. What stood out to me the most about these individuals was their ability to lead with poise in the face of adversity and skillfully advocate the needs of the clinicians they served with empathy and knowledge.
What inspirational message would you like to share with the next generation of nurses?
Nursing is, and has been, the most honorable profession. We provide comfort, support, and care to those who cross our paths, so it is important to remember that in all you do. Additionally, continue to invest in your well-being by being intentional with self-care and staying committed to lifelong learning.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
With all we have accomplished as a nursing community, we can continue to do much more when we work together and advocate for critical issues. We have an essential responsibility to share our unique perspectives that can contribute to positive change in our profession.