Meet Dr. Marie-Anne Rosemberg, Assistant Professor for the online Master of Science (MSN) in Nursing in Leadership, Analytics and Innovation (LAI) program, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership at the School of Nursing, and Graham Sustainability Institute catalyst grant recipient. With an emphasis on occupational health, Dr. Rosemberg’s recent research is optimizing the health of low-wage service workers at risk of experiencing one or multiple chronic conditions. Her latest studies have explored the stressors, allostatic load and health outcomes among women hotel housekeepers, and works to increase the knowledge of hypertension and self-management among African-American women and new U.S. immigrants.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the nursing profession?
I have been interested in science and health since I was little. I’ve had numerous family members and friends who have passed, and I have many who are still living with serious chronic conditions. To me, nursing is the profession that’s at the core of chronic disease management, prevention, patient care, and patient advocacy. Therefore, I felt like I had no choice but to go into nursing.
How did you become involved in your program of research?
I developed an interest in communities and population health since my time as an undergraduate. I worked as a research assistant for both the duration of my undergraduate studies as well as during my time in nursing school. I was also deeply influenced by my two mentors. One of them was focused on examining correctional facilities and looking at the health, not only of inmates and the prison population, but also, of the health care professionals providing the care. My other mentor focused on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and, more broadly, on how family and other social aspects could influence an individual’s health and wellbeing. Later, my master’s and doctoral studies informed and reinforced my belief that, where one lives, plays, and works has a major impact on their life. Subsequently, I really honed in on the workplace because many of us spend the majority of our lives right at work.
How do you implement your research findings into action and increase awareness within this population?
Dissemination through publication and presentations, of course; that’s a major way that I bring awareness to the importance of the intersection of the many aspects of workers’ lives. Another way my work translates into action is through my involvement in federal guidelines developments and leadership conversations about current and future issues regarding our working population.
How does your research translate to the MSN in Leadership, Analytics and Innovation program?
U-M’s MSN in LAI program really aims to prepare individuals for leadership positions, transforming them into nursing leaders who are capable of impacting broader groups and health care systems. My work is well aligned with this goal because the program looks at a systems’ level approach and decision-making, and that’s exactly what I teach: I teach decision science and complex systems, which includes decision-making from the policy level and at the organizational level of the workplace, all of which influences the health outcomes of the individual, their family, and the community as a unit.
How do you think your teaching style–and the teachings of other MSN LAI faculty–offers students an advantage over nursing students who attend a more traditional program?
I take a learner-centered approach, and that has really brought in the thought process of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. When I go into a classroom, I try to remind all my students that each of their individual experiences can and, ideally, should influence their learning, not only in the classroom but also, how they apply the concepts from the coursework into their professional lives. This can range from real-time decision-making to taking a system-level approach in various spheres of their lives, impacting not only their workplace and co-workers, but also their families and personal lives as well.
I’m a big proponent of self reflection. For example, one of the assignments that we do for the class is to actually look at a current policy in the news right now. In tackling this, I encourage my students to not only reflect on how they see the transparency of the decision makers to develop this policy, but also, where that fits into their own professional perspective. Then, we have conversations in a space where everybody can feel comfortable to share their point of view without feeling judged.
What advice would you give current nurses and prospective LAI students who are looking to make an impact within the nursing profession and within their community?
Don’t hold back. In my opinion, nursing is a superpower profession; you can focus on so many different disciplines from pediatrics to occupational health. We are innovating constantly and are dedicated to uncovering innovative solutions to complex problems. By ‘not holding back,’ what I mean is this: nurses must give everything they have, drawing on their personal experiences, their collaborative experiences, their work experiences. Then, they must allow all of that to really influence how they care for people, how they lead, and how they make an impact on the lives and well-being of others.