Nurse Innovators - Meet Deanna Gillingham RN, CCM

This is the first in a series of articles about nurse innovators, those who think outside of the box of traditional nursing. Deanna Gillingham has a great story leading to her current success. It will inspire us all to set goals and work hard toward them each and every day!

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Nurse Innovators - Meet Deanna Gillingham RN, CCM

By definition, an innovator is "a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products". will be featuring nurses that are innovators as a regular series to encourage other nurses to "think outside the box" and create new ideas for themselves and their colleagues in the healthcare industry. It will also help nurses connect with each other and reach out through the resources that these innovators have paved our path toward.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Deanna Gillingham RN, CCM, The Stay at Home Nurse. She is a true nurse innovator. She practiced nursing for 17 years at the bedside before an ankle and foot injury forced her to rethink her career focus. She needed a desk job. She quickly found a position with a large insurance company as a case manager, with a condition of employment being to become certified in case management. As she began searching out study materials to prepare for the exam, Deanna found it difficult to find any good resources. She ended up doing the material research on her own. She passed the certification exam and became a Certified Case Manager. After her success, Deanna shared her information with other case managers studying for their exam and voila, they passed as well!

Here is where Deanna's innovative mind brought her hard work, dedication, and passion to fruition. She decided to write and publish her own case management study guide called: CCM Certification Made Easy: Your guide to passing the certified case manager exam. Along with this, Deanna developed a workbook to go along with the test prep book. Deanna opted to self-publish her book due to the extent of time it takes to get a book to print through a publisher. She found that if she had gone through a publisher, her book would have been outdated before it was published!

Deanna created a website called Case Management Study Guide that offers information and support to fellow case managers as well as an online case management certification review course. She also formed a facebook page called The Stay at Home Nurse. Amongst her biggest challenges has been learning to write. As she says "after writing nurses notes for over 20 years, writing a complete sentence was difficult, let alone a paragraph or a book!" The technical portion of the career path has been a challenge as well. She ultimately took on a business partner who handles the tech portion so that she can focus on her own strengths.

When asked about career role models, Deanna stated, "I have a lot! Laura Mitchell RN, BSN was a role model who took me under her wing and encouraged me to really grow in my profession as a nurse. Her inspiration and leadership inspired me to seek out opportunities before I felt I was ready for them.

The second would be Anne Llewellyn, RN-BC,MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN who has become a role model and mentor. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise and is dedicated to sharing it in order to promote the practice of case management and case managers".

As far as advice that Deanna would give to aspiring nurse entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, Deanna encourages doing something each day toward reaching your goal. Baby steps so as not to become overwhelmed. Ask a lot of "how and why" questions when a problem is introduced. Thinking of how to solve a problem and delving deeper into the why questions.

Deanna believes mentoring the next generation of nurses to elevate the quality of nursing professionals is one of the single most important issues to face over the coming years. Addressing issues such as bullying and staffing ratios will help to ensure that the next generation can properly care for patients without burnout and risk of losing good nurses.

For more information regarding case management or materials and support groups for studying for the certification exam see Deanna's facebook page or webpage listed above!

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tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

152 Articles; 5,918 Posts

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

Thank you for sharing this information about Deanna with us. Looking forward to reading about additional innovators.


1 Article; 3 Posts

She is a true innovator, someone I strive to be like. I met Deanna recently on a cruise and she inspired me so much!

Andrea Higginbotham


2 Posts

Nice article. I love to see others breaking the traditional mold. It's hard to be innovative in a risk averse/cost containment world. It's my belief that nursing and medicine has to be changed from the ones who actually do the work. The goal of our company RNvention is to educate and provide pathway for clinicians to create physical products. Keep up the great work!

Sarah Matacale, BSN, RN

31 Articles; 46 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Documentation. Has 20 years experience.

Thank you! I have come across many nurses that are creating new paths and ideas. I can't wait to share more with readers!

Specializes in Cardiac, NICU, CM. Has 13 years experience.

Deanna truly is an innovator by creating ways to help fellow nurses/case managers succeed. Her study guide, online review course and community group have helped me pass my CCM exam. She has also been sincere, supportive and encouraging during our email exchanges. Thanks for featuring her in this article. :)

Sarah Matacale, BSN, RN

31 Articles; 46 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Documentation. Has 20 years experience.

I love it! So glad to hear from people who she has helped!!!

Carol Bush

3 Articles; 16 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Telehealth & Entrepreneurship.

There are sooooo many great stories of Entrepreneurship, Intra-Praneurship, Innovation...Nurse Makers! I am excited you wrote this story and REALLY looking forward to following more great features! #LoveMyTribe #FreelanceLife #Innovation