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Student Spotlight: Michele Waltrip, BSN, RN, CPHRM

by Carol Best
Michelle Waltrip BSN, RN, CPHRM, clinical risk manager
Class of 2024

Michele Waltrip, BSN, RN, CPHRM, has nearly 30 years of nursing experience and always believed that experience trumped education. Yet, a year ago, she unexpectedly took a “giant leap” and enrolled in MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Master of Science in Nursing program. Now she’s finding confirmation that her choice is just right for her position as Olathe Health Systems’ clinical risk manager.

“I noticed that for others who excelled in their careers, the common denominator was education,” Michele says. “I looked at many programs and none intrigued or challenged me until my admissions counselor at MNU shared their MSN with a quality emphasis. I knew right away this was what I was supposed to do.”

Michele’s responsibility is to review events relating to patient safety while analyzing data and applying best practices in healthcare. She collaborates with other clinical managers to assess opportunities to prevent future occurrences. She also works directly with the patient relations coordinator, health system attorneys, and the health systems’ insurance company. While her clinical nursing experience is vital to the job, graduate-level education is proving invaluable.

“I honestly cannot believe how helpful the MNU experience has been in my role,” Michele says. “Our previous CEO, Stan Holm, and our Interim CEO, Jason Hannigan, often ask me about what class I am in. We routinely discuss what I am learning and how it can be applied to current situations. It’s great to have their support during this journey.”

Michele also credits her supervisor, Chief Compliance Officer Cathy Wiens.

Michele says the MSN program has given her the confidence and skills to lead others.

“I feel I am constantly learning how to become a better version of myself,” she adds.

Michele also recognizes the faith integration in her curriculum and interactions with MNU professors.

“I love that my instructors share their love and passion for Christ and how it applies to my learning,” Michele says. “This has impacted me from both an educational and a spiritual perspective. The faculty and students have had such an impact on my life. Each class inspires me to learn more and apply those skills to not only my career but also my personal life. I am so blessed to be on this journey with MNU.”

Recently Olathe Health joined The University of Kansas Health System. Integration into one organization will bring both challenges and opportunities. How will that impact Michele’s work?

“I’m in my dream job right now,” she says. “I envision myself continuing to learn and seek new opportunities in risk management with the support of our new healthcare organization. The sky is the limit, and with MNU’s assistance, I am willing to strive for more!”

If you or someone you know is looking for the next step in nursing education, watch the MNU School of Nursing’s latest video, The MNU Nursing Difference, or visit