Mentoring Profile: Janice Phillips, RN, PhD, CENP, FAAN, College of Nursing

The Rush Women Mentoring Program fosters professional development and a sense of community and collaboration among women faculty at Rush University. In this series, we highlight program mentors and mentees and learn more about how mentoring has impacted them.

Janice Phillips, RN, PhD, CENP, FAAN, associate professor, Department of Community, Systems, and Mental Health Nursing, College of Nursing joined Rush in 2017.

Tell us about your background.

In 2011, I completed the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship while working in the office of U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, where I analyzed complex data in support of implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care and garnered support for prescription drug abuse legislation. From 2013 to 2017, I served as director of government and regulatory affairs at CGFNS International. While serving in that position, I helped the organization renew its five-year authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to issue Visa Screen certificates to foreign-educated health care professionals, and I helped it secure first-time NGO consultative status with the United Nations. In 2014, I received the Nursing Outlook’s Excellence in Health Policy Award from the American Academy of Nursing. I have penned more than 80 publications, edited four textbooks, including Cancer and Health Policy: Advancements and Opportunities, written a health policy column for Minority Nurse magazine, and I am a public voices fellow through the OpEd Project. I currently serve as director of nursing research and health equity at Rush University Medical Center.

What inspired you to get into your field?

My desire to pursue nursing as a career was shaped by my love of helping others. I had originally wanted to be a teacher until I was told that all of my high school classmates were pursuing teaching careers. I knew that nurses helped people, so I thought that this would be a good choice for me. Thankfully pursuing nursing has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

What excited you about your work at Rush?

Rush is a great place where people can learn, grow and contribute to improving the health and well-being of everyone it serves, both internally and externally. Rush has great resources and tools to facilitate success in achieving organizational goals, as well as very helpful, knowledgeable and caring employees to assist in this endeavor.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship?

When I was here previously, I had a great experience with my mentor, John Mordach, who both inspired me and introduced me to some of the aspects of health care financing, which have informed my policy work. Rush has unmatched opportunities to be mentored and to mentor others.

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

Nursing is a noble, honorable and rewarding career that makes it possible to literally change lives. While it can be hard at times, it can also be very gratifying, and a nurse must be committed to excellence regardless of specialty, position or work setting. I am extremely grateful to have built a career in this field, partly because the diverse range of specialties and opportunities within the field of nursing far outshines that of other professions.

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

I truly love reading, writing for publication and traveling.