From RN to HR

Posted by cservaes on December 2, 2013 in "Academic Programs", Alumni, "Kansas City", Online, "School of Business", "Your OU" After being a registered nurse (RN) for more than 25 years, Vivian Derby decided she needed to expand her career options. With a special interest in human resources (HR) and a need to earn her degree online, she chose Ottawa University for her Master of Arts in Human Resources. Online reunion“Although a master’s degree is not required for the position I am in, it has opened many doors of opportunity,” says Derby ’02 OL, who coordinates the Geriatric Fracture Program at Rapid City Regional Hospital. She also coordinates data for the national quality measures and, because of her advanced degree, is now able to teach quality improvement at the hospital.

“I love working with people and helping others,” says Derby, “particularly medical and nursing students who are interested and engaged in learning.”

Another opportunity that has presented itself is the role of author. In a special 2013 edition on immunization in South Dakota Medicine, Derby and three colleagues co-authored an article entitled “Vaccination and the Health Care Worker,” which explores the role of health care worker vaccinations as a strategy to protect patients, not simply as a means of protecting health care professionals from infectious work-related risk. The article can be accessed here.

Derby was also a guest writer for the March 2010 issue of ASQ Healthcare Update, contributing the article “Planning and Implementation: A Multidimensional Hand-Hygiene Program.”

Spreading her knowledge and skills around, Derby has been involved in a number of special projects and improvements at the hospital, including extensive process changes in the surgery department as part of the surgical care improvement project, and serving as a clinical resource to the grants writing department. In addition, Derby facilitates the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School classes at the University of South Dakota Medical School.

“I finally got the confidence to pursue my dreams,” says Derby, “and I learned that you are never too old to go back to school. Getting your education at OU is very worthwhile and can make your future what you want it to be.”

Derby returned to OU for the only Online class reunion in OU history in March 2007, when three alumnae from the OU-Kansas City online program visited the campus and re-connected with professors Dr. Sybil McClary, Dr. Gus Breytspraak and Dr. Peter Sandstrom.

“It was really enjoyable to get back together and compare our lives and career paths, and to see the changes that have been made at OU,” says Derby. “I really appreciated the fact that the professors took time out of their weekend to spend time with us; they still take an interest in how we’re doing.”

“It was such a wonderful experience working with students from all over the U.S. in our Master’s in Human Resources Intensive weekend program,” says McClary. “Viv Derby was one of the students who loved coming to KC, often bringing her family, and who came back to visit us. She even invited me to visit her in Sturgis, SD after she graduated. She is now teaching online with another university because of her good experience learning online with OU.”

For more information on the MA in HR program at OU, which has been around for 25 years, clickhere.