In celebration of National Nurses Week May 6-12, Bamboo Health is proud to have teammates who are nurses. We are lucky they decided to transition to the health technology field, serving in diverse roles in the company. We sat down with Alycia Sepe, BSN, RN, who serves as vice president of business development supporting our payer partners, to hear how she puts her nursing skills into practice outside of a clinical setting.
Q: Thanks for chatting with us today! What led you to pursue nursing?
A: When I was in college, I changed my major several times, trying to find my passion. I decided to try nursing, and I absolutely loved it. I didn’t realize until I tried it, the passion I had for helping people in their times of need. No matter what it was, whether they were extremely sick and ready to die or they were having a baby, they needed someone who knew how to take care of them from a healthcare perspective. That’s what kept me touching patients for so long. People say I’m not really touching patients anymore. I tell them I certainly am. I am touching millions of patients at a time now versus just one.
Q: Tell us about the types of nursing you practiced.
A: The beauty of being a nurse is the variety of options available. I started out doing medical-surgical at a large teaching hospital in Pittsburgh where I saw a little bit of everything. I did home care for a while, which was rewarding getting to go into the patient’s home instead of the hospital to care for them. I did labor and delivery for a little while, but my last patient care role was working with patients who were waiting for heart or lung transplants and following them through the waiting and the transplant procedure. It was especially rewarding because I got to know the patients and their families because the wait could be long. I keep in touch with some of those patients to this day.
Q: How did you make the transition from nursing to health IT?
A: My family moved for my husband’s job. We had children and I decided it would be beneficial to leave shift work for more flexibility. I took a nursing position on the business side at a large health plan, and I haven’t looked back. I progressed at the health plan, learning clinical operations and the technology being used by the health plan. While I was there, we built a brand-new care management system. As I rose through the ranks and into leadership, I started to support how we sold our services out to the market and employer groups. I discovered a secondary passion for business development, and I enjoyed talking about the impact we had on clinical outcomes and cost of care, supported through technology and services. I have spent a number of years now in healthcare technology and service organizations, with a national focus on Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans. Those skills brought me to Bamboo Health about a year ago.
Q: How do you use your nursing background in your current job at Bamboo Health?
A: Every single day, we take care of patients in need. Many times, I’m having conversations with individuals at health plans who are clinicians – nurses or doctors. We speak the same language around quality measures for example – what are they and how do we impact them? We also speak the same language around data and how the data can help us improve quality, access to care, or cost of care for the members. Every single day, I know my nursing background comes into play.
Q: What advice do you have for nurses who may be looking to transition their careers?
A: While you don’t have to be a nurse to do my job, it adds significant value and the career is personally and professionally rewarding. There are many career opportunities for nurses that offer better work-life balance, where you can experience an awesome work culture like we have at Bamboo Health. Just because you aren’t touching a patient in the hospital doesn’t mean you give up on nursing or helping patients. I still do that every day! I would never change the fact that I decided to become a nurse – the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful career.
Sepe received her R.N. from Washington Hospital School of Nursing and her B.S.N. from the University of Pittsburgh.