Dear UAMS Nursing Colleagues,
I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced anything like the past three weeks. Since accepting the interim chief nursing officer role, my life has been a whirlwind of questions, ideas, urgent challenges, a LOT of listening, and trying to figure out how to prioritize things that are all important. In the midst of it all, there has been an outpouring of support that has both encouraged and inspired me. Thank you for this!
As with anyone taking on new responsibilities, I ask for grace, patience, understanding, and your help and advice as we enter this new phase in the life of UAMS Nursing. After visiting the inpatient units several times over the past couple of weeks, I quickly came to realize how much has changed and how many new faces there are. I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks and months.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’d like to share some information about my background. I earned my BSN from UCA in Conway, and my first job was as a staff nurse in the neurology and urology units at St. Edward Mercy Medical Center in Fort Smith. After a few months there, I returned to Conway, where I served as a charge nurse and staff nurse on a blended adult med-surg/peds unit at Conway Regional. I continued to work there in a variety of roles including eight years as a clinical coordinator, staff nurse, and educator on the L&D, postpartum, and gynecology unit. In August 2005, I joined the UAMS College of Nursing as adjunct faculty, and in 2007 I joined the clinical team as magnet program director. In 2009, I received my PhD from the UAMS Graduate School and completed the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program.
As part of our Magnet journey, I led the development of the Center for Nursing Excellence, where I served as senior director until five years ago. In 2011, I was named associate chief nursing officer under CNO Mary Helen Forrest and worked closely with her until her retirement in 2019. In 2018 I began serving as the chief perioperative services officer and became responsible for day-to-day operational management of the operating rooms, pre-anesthesia evaluation clinic, pre-operative care unit, post-operative care unit, sterile processing, and the endoscopy suites. Also on my team are the interventional and imaging services departments and the Urology Center. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these employees and learning more about their work.
In July 2022, I was named associate vice chancellor for clinical operations. I began serving as the clinical liaison for construction projects including The Orthopedic and Spine Hospital, the Urology Center at Premier Medical Plaza on Rodney Parham, and the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine facility in Springdale.
Needless to say, I am familiar with the ins and outs of UAMS and the big-picture challenges our institution is facing right now. What I need your help with is telling me how I can support you in the care you provide our patients on a daily basis.
Many years ago, we had a CNO Advisory Council here at UAMS, and I’d like to bring this back. In the coming weeks, I’ll be recruiting representatives to serve on this council so I can hear first-hand what it’s like to work as a bedside nurse in 2023 and 2024. I can only imagine how different your job is from my day-to-day routine almost 20 years ago. In the meantime, please click below to send me an e-mail with your ideas and suggestions. I can’t promise miracles, but I will promise to listen and advocate for both you and our patients. I know the potential of UAMS Nursing. I know that together we will make UAMS Health the best place for nurses in Arkansas, and, as a result, the best place for patients in Arkansas.
I look forward to hearing from you and working with you toward this goal.
Tammy Jones, PHD, RN, NE-BC
Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Operations
Chief Officer – Perioperative, Interventional &
Imaging Services Division
Interim Chief Nursing Officer