Recognizing Outstanding Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in Hampton Roads
Christine K. Daley, NP
By Alison Johnson
During her 11 years as an adult nurse practitioner in Virginia, Christine K. Daley has thrown her energy into advancing her profession locally and across the state.
Daley, a member of the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery team at Riverside Regional Medical Center, is certain that nurse practitioners will play an increasingly important role as more people obtain health insurance but face a growing shortage of physicians.
As President-Elect of the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, she is an important leader in an ongoing push to boost the legal autonomy of advanced practice nurses, making them better collaborators with time-pressed physicians. Her message: NPs are well-trained to diagnose and treat many medical conditions without direct oversight, and they often have more time for patient education.
“There’s so much we can do independently to help both physicians and patients,” Daley says. “Nurse practitioners have become essential players in providing good care, along with greater access to care for patients. I want us to be able to practice to the full extent of our abilities.”
Daley, a mother of two, has been a registered nurse since 1986. She completed her nurse practitioner training in 1997 at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in California and worked in Arizona before moving to Virginia in 2003. She has worked with cardiothoracic patients at Riverside ever since.
Each day, Daley devotes hours to patients before and after surgery. Working in partnership with surgeons, she does everything from calming nerves in pre-operative rooms to completing hospital rounds to carefully reviewing follow-up care plans. “I absolutely love what I do,” she says. “Everyone deserves the best possible health care.”
While Daley has worked with state legislators on bills to remove some supervisory requirements for nurse practitioners, she’s quick to add that her colleagues aren’t out to replace physicians. “We’re not wannabe doctors,” she says. “We just want to be the best nurse practitioners we can be.”
Daley’s two-year term as President-Elect for the VCNP will begin in March, followed by two years as President and another two as Past President. She’s active in leadership at Riverside, too: she’s Vice-Chair of the Advanced Practice Provider Committee, which the hospital started about three years ago to augment the role of NPs and Physician Assistants, and served on the faculty of Riverside’s nursing school for about five years.
Additionally, as a quality data manager for Riverside, Daley participates in the Virginia Cardiac Surgery Quality Program, which draws together representatives from hospitals throughout the state – including major programs such as the University of Virginia Health System and VCU Medical Center – to discuss best practices and compare patient outcomes. “We don’t just consider survival rates,” she says. “We want to be sure we’ve done all the right things for our patients.”
As federal health care reforms go into place, Daley expects the role of nurse practitioners to keep expanding in both family practices and specialty offices. More men also are joining its traditionally female ranks, she notes. “I’m excited to continue our journey,” she says. “It’s all about keeping more people healthy.” <
If you work with or know a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner you’d like to nominate for a profile in Hampton Roads Physician, please visit our website – www.hrphysician.com – or call our editor, Bobbie Fisher, at 757-773-7550.