Osmosis Team Spotlight: Jannah Amiel, MSN, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing Curriculum
Published on Sep 16, 2020. Updated on May 5, 2021.
The AMA has designated September as Women in Medicine Month, a time to recognize the incredible contributions women make in health and medicine. Today, we’re spotlighting Jannah Amiel, MSN, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing Curriculum at Osmosis.
Hi Jannah! I’m really excited to spotlight you on the blog today. You’ve been a stellar contributor since you joined the Osmosis team, working incredibly hard to improve our educational content for nurses. Can you start by telling our readers a bit about your life and education?
Thank you, Fergus! That’s really kind!
Well, I’ve been a Registered Nurse since 2007. I earned my ASN and BSN from Keiser University, then received my MS in Nursing (Emerging Nurse Leaders track) from Florida Atlantic University. My clinical background is in Pediatrics, more specifically Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU), Pediatric Emergency & Level 1 Trauma, and Pediatric Urgent Care and School Health.
Eventually, I discovered my true love in Nursing is education, so I moved into Nursing academia where I taught as a faculty member, and soon enough I became a Director of Nursing for several college nursing programs. A few years later, I started tootRN™ (Tools of Our Trade, RN) LLC, where I prepare Nursing graduates to take and successfully pass their NCLEX® (licensure exam). I also like to serve the Nursing community in many different ways, so I’m a part of lots of great organizations like the Florida Action Coalition, a member of the Women’s Media Center (as a SheSource expert), and I sit on several nursing advisory boards.
When I’m not working, you can find me hanging out with a dog, Gunner—he’s our eight-year-old pit bull and is a little cuddle bug who loves to be anywhere his humans are!
What inspired you to pursue a career in nursing?
I’d say it was a combination of academic and professional experiences. I’ve always been into science since I was a really young girl, big time! My mom actually enrolled me in a Science Magnet program when I reached middle school. That was pretty pivotal for me because I got to engage in science in several different ways, one of which was health.
Funnily enough, when I was getting ready to start high school, I wanted to enroll in a marine biology program, but the logistics just didn’t work out. Then, I was considering a HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) program, but in the back of my mind I was like, “I don’t know if I really want to work on people?!” I was then, and still very much am, all about animals! So “humans” weren’t my first pick.
I ended up attending an IB (International Baccalaureate) program for a little while, then transitioned into a general education high school, graduated a year early, and felt like I was really missing that health science piece in my life. So, I was thinking about what I could do in the meantime to fill that void, and ended up getting trained to become a Medical Assistant (MA), then started working at a big and busy Pediatric practice. And… I fell in love! I was like, “yup, this is it! I want to do this forever!” My manager, co-workers and physicians were so encouraging and really pushed me to consider becoming a Registered Nurse, and I’m so grateful they did.
When I worked as a MA, I was in my zone! Learning and practicing clinical skills, collaborating with the Pediatricians, working directly with the amazing kids and their families and participating in their healthcare; it was definitely an “aha!” moment for me!
You’re founder and CEO of your own education platform for nurses, TootRN™. Can you tell our readers a bit more about that? Why did you decide to pursue nursing education?
Yes! So, tootRN™ was officially born in 2013. I often joke and tell everyone that it’s my baby. I started tootRN™ because I was really disappointed, unsatisfied and a little disillusioned with what I had personally experienced in Nursing education as a student, and what I was observing as a Nurse Educator in that same space.
During the time when I was earning my BSN, I needed to complete some externship hours, and I was reaching out to different people and places in my network. One of my former Professors who was teaching at a major university in Miami, FL at the time was like, “Hey! Come do some student teaching with me!” So I did. She let me take over a class lecture one evening, I still remember, it was on Leadership. It went surprisingly well! And I enjoyed it, which honestly I didn't think I would!
After the class was over, her and I debriefed a bit on the experience and I’ll never forget, she said, “Do you know who you just taught?” I was thinking, well that’s a silly question? I taught Nursing students, obviously… right? She said, “These are physicians, foreign-educated.” I don’t know why, maybe it was the nonsensical invisible hierarchy of RN and MD that made me feel like, “Oh my goodness, I couldn't possibly teach a doctor anything,” that gave me pause. But then she went on and said, “Listen, this is what you should be doing. You need to teach.” So I decided to take her advice.
You know hindsight, the things I loved most about Nursing at the bedside were the teaching parts: precepting new nurses, educating clients and families, creating new department training procedures. It had always been my thing, really. I was still working at the bedside during this time, so I’d slowly transitioned away from there and started teaching Pediatrics at a local Nursing school. Before I knew it I was Assistant Director of Nursing, then shortly after that, Director of Nursing. It was all very exciting and I felt really fulfilled because I had experienced Nursing from so many angles. As a student Nurse, as a bedside Nurse, as a Nurse educator and as a Nurse Administrator.
Having those perspectives I think helped me to view and approach things differently. But, during that time when I worked in academia, there were too many times where I didn’t like what I saw. So as the old saying goes, “be the change you want to see in the world”, I started tutoring a few students, and a few turned into a few more, and then suddenly my days were filled with tutoring. As more and more students came to me, I was able to clearly recognize that what they all had in common was content overload and a lack of how to apply it. So I started developing strategies, like the tootRN™ 3-Step and Toolkits to help these awesome students develop their critical thinking skills.
As time went on, I focused that energy on assisting students to prepare for the NCLEX®. Each month I have a new cohort of students that join me, and I’m over the moon proud to hold a 98% NCLEX® pass rate and have published my first book this year!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Wow, that’s a great question. There’s definitely been several challenges in my career along the way. The biggest for me was finding my voice as a Nurse. As a Nurse, you will experience so many different things—some fantastic and others not so fantastic. But we have a mega role in healthcare. We’re 3+ million strong in the United States alone!
Finding and utilizing your voice isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. The Nurse’s role is critical, and influences the care your clients receive, how well your facility performs, your colleagues that you collaborate with and ultimately, the entire community you serve. So, uplift your voice! Your contributions are invaluable and help push us all in the right direction.
When did you first encounter Osmosis, and what inspired you to join the team?
Dr. Rishi Desai actually reached out to me sometime in March this year. I remember it was toward the end of the month. He sent me a quick email asking if I could hop on a call with him. I first met Rishi several years ago when I worked on a project that he was also a part of at the Khan Academy. I thought it was going to be a, “hey, how have you been” call, but he reached out to ask if I’d be interested and available to help consult on the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) Program the team was working on. Rishi was always a blast to work with, so I was happy to help.
What was initially going to be a short term role for me here turned into a long term one when he and the team asked if I’d stay onboard and take on the role of Nursing Content Manager. Saying no to a team like this? I couldn’t. Everyone that I’d worked with and the mission of Osmosis aligned so neatly with me, so I stayed on—and I am so happy I did!
What’s a typical “day in the life” at Osmosis like for you?
“Typical” here is a fluid term, and I enjoy that! That means that everyday can be a little bit different than before, so I’m never bored or understimulated.
Since taking on the new role of Nursing Content Manager, my job is really centered around developing content that’s custom tailored to Nursing students. So, I work on creating new content and mapping existing Osmosis content for the Nurses. It’s really exciting because I get to use all of my experience to make something that’s going to be a tremendous help to Nursing students and practicing Nurses. I also get to work closely with other talented and passionate teammates.
Of all the Osmosis content you’ve worked on, what are you most proud of?
Because it’s my biggest passion, I’m most proud of what’s coming soon for our Nurse learners! It’s very cool and unique content, and I can’t wait to share it. But, I’m also really proud of the CNA content that I helped create in the early stages of developing that program. Here’s one of the first videos from that!
Do you have any sneak-peeks at future content you and your team are working on that our nursing audience can look forward to?
We’re in the process now of creating new videos for Nursing, and I’m so stoked about it, so stay tuned! I can tell you that we’re taking concepts that have been historically and notoriously difficult to understand in Nursing education and presenting it in a way that makes you sit back and say, “ohhh, that’s how that works!” It’ll be a lot of those moments where your mental light bulb turns on.
Which Osmosis value resonates with you most strongly?
These days, it’s definitely “imagine more.” A large focus of mine is finding and creating ways to support Nursing education and helping our entire community to develop new ways of thinking to unlock their greatest potential.
You’ve hosted a couple of webinars for nurses who learn by Osmosis. Can you talk a little bit about those, and share why our nursing audience should tune in to watch?
Certainly! I recently did a webinar on my top 8 studying habits that I recommend for all Nursing students. Nursing school can be overwhelming and feel really heavy, and sometimes it’s tough to navigate through what can feel like an ocean of content. Adopting habits early on that will set you up for success is vital.
Joining these webinars is an opportunity for nursing students to connect with resources that support their learning and success, and to connect with a community of their peers.
What advice do you have for nursing students who are considering a career in education over clinical practice?
Go for it! One thing that we’ve been hearing a lot about for some time is the impending Nursing shortage. However, it’s really important to highlight that we’re facing a shortage of Nurse educators. So if education is where you want to be, awesome—we need you! After all, without Nurse educators, there can be no Nurses.
On another note, I’d love to say to pay attention to the things that fulfill you, that really light your inner fire! A beautiful thing about being a Nurse is that there are so many different roles you can take on, and as you move about in your Nursing career, you’ll find that role or roles that you love and shine in the most.
What’s your #1 tip for learners who are adjusting to the new circumstances of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic?
For Nursing students who aren’t used to remote online learning, this can definitely be a tricky time. But for everyone, the biggest adjustment might be missing out on clinicals and labs. So, a lot of self discipline and self motivation is needed during these times to ensure you’re staying active in learning.
One thing I’d recommend is to take advantage of your surroundings. So if you’re home with a family member, partner, pet even—include them in your learning. Practice skills on someone at home, teach your cat about a new piece of knowledge you acquired. A little creativity in your remote learning can be fun and effective!
Finally, can you tell our readers a fun fact about yourself?
I love horror movies! I’m an especially big fan of storytelling about haunted places or scary monsters. I don’t know what it is about it, but curling up in the corner of the couch, at night, all the lights off and a horror movie playing is my idea of a good time!
Thanks for speaking with me today, Jannah!
Thanks again for the opportunity!