Daniel Nowak Named Clinical Director of Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship at School of Nursing

September 11, 2012

Dan Nowak, RN, MS, says he looks forward to growing the offerings of the CNE and preparing future nurses and nurse leaders as part of his new role with the School of Nursing.

Daniel Nowak, RN, MS, was recently named clinical director of the School of Nursing Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship (CNE), a nursing group practice that provides health care and related consultative services. Nowak, who is associate director of nursing for geriatrics at Strong, will also serve as an assistant professor at the School, where he will teach graduate students enrolled in the Leadership in Health Care Systems Program.

Nowak brings more than 15 years of experience in nursing leadership positions at Strong to his new role.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Dan for many years and am thrilled that he is joining the School in this way,” said Lisa Norsen, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, School of Nursing associate dean for innovation and community outreach. “His exemplary leadership, combined with his vision, great energy, and team-building skills, will strengthen the services the CNE offers, help us develop new service lines, and expand its presence in the community.”

Nowak will retain his role with Nursing Practice, Lean Implementation, and Crucial Conversations at Strong, and will devote about two-thirds of his time to the School and to leading the CNE. A significant practice arm and revenue stream for the School, the CNE currently includes an employee health program, a travel health program (Passport Health), contract services, and nurse practitioner clinics.

“It’s exciting because there is a strong foundation of success to build on,” Nowak said. “I’m looking forward to exploring opportunities for successful growth and partnerships in all areas.”

Building partnerships has been a hallmark of Nowak’s career as both a nurse and an administrator.

He worked for more than a decade as a nurse and nurse manager at Rochester General Hospital before earning his master’s degree in nursing administration from the School of Nursing in 1992. Upon graduation, he was recruited to Strong by Norsen (who was then associate director of nursing) and chief nursing officer Patricia Anne Witzel, MS, RN, MBA, FNAP, to open a new cardiothoracic intensive care unit. Nowak worked with a team of physicians and nurses to take the unit from concept to reality, and served as its nurse manager/senior nurse manager for several years. He then helped lead the unit through the major evolution of providing heart transplants and artificial heart implants (ventricular assist devices), working to develop and implement the spectrum of care (congestive heart failure clinic, pre-operative, operative, postoperative, recovery, and follow-up) for patients in this specialty. In addition, he was chiefly responsible for nurse recruitment, orientation, education, and leadership on the unit.

In 2006, Nowak was named assistant director of nursing for perioperative services at Strong, with oversight of the Strong Surgery Center, Operating Room, Post Ambulatory Care Unit, Sterile Processing Department, and Sawgrass Surgical Center. Over a five-year span, he successfully initiated the division of the Operating Room into clinical clusters and teams through which nurses could better focus and specialize in the care of patients in certain areas. Also under Nowak’s leadership, Virginia Towle, RN, BSN, designed and implemented a perioperative nurses council, which brought together nurses from all different surgical areas to share best practices and collaborate in the development of new models of patient- and family-centered care.

Most recently, Nowak has overseen the geriatrics nursing program within the hospital, working to educate nurses about the unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges within the vulnerable and growing population of elderly, hospitalized adults; his work in this area will continue in tandem with his role at the CNE. For six months, Nowak also served as interim associate director of nursing in the Emergency Department, an experience he’ll also draw upon in his new position with the School, he said.

“I’ve been fortunate to have coaches and mentors throughout the hospital, and to have gained through all of my experiences a close appreciation for the skills and perspectives people bring to the creative process and to problem-solving in a health-care setting,” he said. “I see my larger role now as preparing the nurses who will be at the bedside in the future, and as being a voice in those crucial conversations that can continually improve health-care delivery.”

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Christine Roth
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