Last week Independence Plus, Inc. (IPI) brought David Miller, DNP, MSN, BSN, CNL, CRRN, onboard as the company’s Director of Clinical Services for Home Health and Home Nursing. Celeste Clarke, PhD, LCSW, IPI’s Director of Human Resources, asked David some questions to help us all get to know him better.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be?
A: My answer was, “exactly like my father;” he was a Senior Tax Manager. My mother’s a nurse but she never pushed nursing on me. As a child, I helped my dad with his rehab (total knee replacements) and I was able to help my grandmother as she suffered with Alzheimer’s. These experiences had a big effect on me.
Q: Who do you admire?
A: People who are genuine, good at their work, and are consistent in how they act whether they are at home or work. I truly admire my wife, Vera Miller. I met Vera at Illinois Wesleyan University when we were getting our Bachelors. She was earning a Bachelor’s in English and I was earning my BSN. Once we married, she went on to earn a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies and she’s now the Grant Writer for the Wetlands Initiative. She was very supportive when I went to back to school for my MSN and DNP. I was working full-time and she proofread all my papers and she made me look like a good writer. Frankly, she deserves an honorary doctorate for all she did.
Q: What is your personal/professional motto?
A: No one sits until we all can fit. When I first started working on the seventh floor at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now renamed the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab) Mona Coutré, ADN/AAS, RN (aka “Mother Mona”) first told me this motto. She took all of the new nurses under her wing and made sure we knew what we needed to know. I will always remember her telling me that I “was born to be a nurse.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do after work?
A: I feed my two cats and find out how their day went…and then Vera and I cook a vegan dinner together. The two of us also like to birdwatch; Vera’s the identifier and I’m the photographer.
Q: What personal traits are you most proud of?
A: Perseverance and loyalty to the people I live and work with. I love to fix problems but I get frustrated when I can’t fix something. Sometimes, all you can do is listen…but I’m told that I’m good at listening.
Q: What characteristics do you most admire in others?
A: Critical thinking! You need to think about what you’re doing and go beyond yourself and into the future. Society tells us to live in our private silos and, because we’re so busy, we don’t take the time we need to think about our actions and words. I admire people who think and live in the moment.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently in your life?
A: I believe that things have a way of working out so I try to go with the flow. Things that seem like mistakes sometimes result in being a gift to you. While earning my doctorate, I learned more and more but, what I really noticed was that I learned more about what I didn’t know.
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an adult?
A: Acknowledge that there are multiple perspectives to everything.
Q: What does the world need more (or less) of?
A: More understanding and communication…and we need to appreciate what we don’t know instead of judging it.
Q: Do you have any immediate personal plans you can share?
A: In December I finished my Doctorate of Nurse Practice in Systems Leadership at Rush University. Our commencement ceremony occurs Thursday, May 25th. My mother, Joanne Miller, PhD, RN, APN/GNP-PC, (Associate Professor at Rush University College of Nursing) is handing me my diploma!
Click here to read David’s bio.