Frontier Nursing University (FNU) associate professor Diane John, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC understands the importance of giving back to the community.
Diane recently collaborated with several faculty and leaders to host a virtual session for National Nurse Practitioner (NP) Week. They held a panel discussion to talk about how each is involved in his/her community, and Diane shared some of the many ways she is active in her Broward County, Fla. community.
Diane sits on the board and volunteers at the local YMCA, providing education sessions and working with community health workers to improve healthcare outcomes. She frequently has speaking engagements in the community about different topics such as chronic health, the obesity epidemic, hypertension, and lifestyle behaviors’ impact on healthcare outcomes. She is also a board member of the South Florida Council For Advanced Practice Nurses, where she chairs the education and community committee. As chair, she facilitates food drives and clothing drives, most recently to collect relief items for victims of the Haiti hurricane disaster.
The Broward County population suffers high rates of hypertension, heart disease, and renal failure, all linked to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. To help combat this, Diane received funding from a national NP organization to implement a project focused on teaching healthcare providers and nursing students about motivational interviewing, a way of talking with patients so they are moved to make behavioral changes leading to better health outcomes.
“We have spent many years telling patients what to do. ‘Walk twenty minutes three times a week. Eat these foods. Stop smoking.’ We have made some advances from this direct talk, but we’re not where we need to be,” Diane explained.
“Motivational interviewing helps meet people halfway by leading them to identify behaviors and design a plan of action to implement healthier lifestyle choices.”
The grant allows her to offer motivational interviewing courses to NPs, advanced practice nurses, community health workers, and student nurses. Initially created as a tool for substance abusers, the motivational interview method is now being used across a wide span of illnesses and conditions, empowering patients to take ownership and control of their own health. Diane’s motivational interview courses also equip students with a tool to assess how likely an individual would change behaviors based on his/her conversation with the provider.
Diane has been a member of the FNU team since 2012. She currently serves in the academic affairs division as a curriculum and course design coach.
Diane’s favorite thing about being part of the FNU team is collaboration and effective communication across departments, programs and individuals.
“I have worked in brick and mortar academic organizations in the past, and communicating was always an issue, but at FNU, a lot of effort is put into communication and transparency,” she said.
Diane would like to thank FNU Department Chair of Family Nursing Dr. Lisa Chappell and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Rachel Mack for recognizing all the individual things that faculty do that align with the nursing profession, particularly outside of the FNU organization. “They are truly interested in what we do beyond our work at Frontier,” said Diane.
In addition to her faculty position and community work, Diane is a family nurse practitioner (FNP) whose practice works closely with veterans and the geriatric population.
Thank you, Diane, for the many ways you serve your communities, both at FNU and in Broward County!