Q&A with Chief Nursing Officer Judy Tatman, MS, RN

May 04, 2015

Judy Tatman

During National Nurses' Week and throughout the year, we are proud to celebrate our nurses for their compassion and dedication. We are thankful for our amazing team, including Judy Tatman, MS, RN, regional chief nursing officer in Oregon. Read on to find out what Judy says her patients have taught her about caring for others.

Providence: What inspired you to become a nurse?

Judy Tatman: As a child, I had an illness that kept me hospitalized for some time. I loved the nurses. Even when they gave me shots, I remember them trying to calm me down. They helped me feel safe. I watched what they did and how they cared for other kids and babies. I started “playing” nurse and loved everything nursing and how nurses help people heal. Now, I am one of the healers.

Is there a patient you still think about?

There are many, but here is one. In my role as a Home Health nurse, one of my patients was an elderly Tohono O’Odom Native American woman. She said my weekly visits were one of the social highlights of her week. She lived in an adobe home with dirt floors. She would sweep the dirt floors in preparation for my visit and prepare food for me to take home. Everything would be clean and orderly. She was very proud and I loved being with this woman who lived in simplicity and humility and with a big heart. This was a very different cultural experience for me. It took some time in my Home Health role to truly understand that the locus of control of the decisions people make is not in the hospital. It is not in the physician’s office. It is in the home and community — where people actually live. I carry that understanding with me today.

What’s the most rewarding part of your career? 

I work in a progressive, faith-based health system. I greatly like and respect the people I work with and for, which is really important to me. It’s a privilege to be called to this profession and organization and to be able to make a difference every day.

What’s the biggest challenge you face as a CNO? 

This biggest challenge is continuing to break down silos of care.

What’s the best part about your job?

I am working with nurses and other clinicians across the continuum (and Providence system!) to design and implement new models of care, focusing on Care Management/Transitions of Care as well as population health and wellness in collaboration with our communities.