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Staff Spotlight: Edwina McCray, MSN, CNML

Thursday, March 21, 2019
E McCray

Almost 20 years ago, Edwina McCray, MSN, CNML, started at Duke as a recently graduated nurse. Now, she’s the new Clinical Operations Director for Neuroscience, Musculoskeletal, and Spine at Duke University Hospital. In this week’s “Spotlight” interview, McCray talks about taking on this new role, the challenges and rewards of her work, and the growth of the step-down units from three to 32 beds since she started working there. She also talks about her love of basketball, football, and other sports when she’s not a Duke.

What are your responsibilities as our new Clinical Operations Director? What does your average work day look like?
As the COD I am responsible for providing the overall direction and leadership of four inpatient units at DUH on a 24-hour basis. This includes making sure that the clinical functions on the units are carried out to meet the strategic goals of the organization. Some of the specific duties are overseeing the care delivery model, developing policies and procedures, personnel management, budgeting, equipment procurement and supply management. My average day includes rounding on the  units talking to staff and visiting patients, working with the unit managers to problem solve, attending multidisciplinary huddles, attending lots of meetings and managing an inbox full of emails.

What were you doing before this? How does your new position compare to your earlier work?
I was the nurse manager of 4100 and 8 West for 16 years before I was in this position, so there are many similarities. The difference in this role is that my scope of responsibility is broader. I work with the nurse managers to facilitate the growth of the Neuro, Musculoskeletal and Spine service lines. Both roles require the ability to manage multiple demands and priorities simultaneously and the ability to communicate effectively with individuals in many disciplines and in many settings.

What’s been the biggest change to the Neuro step-down unit since you started working there?
The biggest change since I’ve started working on the step-down unit has been the acuity of the patients and the number of step-down beds. There were three when I started and now there are 32! As a result of different treatment modalities, I have seen an improvement in the quality of life of our brain tumor and stroke patients after their injuries.

What do you enjoy most about your work? What’s the most challenging part of your job?
I love the feeling of knowing that I have made a difference in someone’s life and I also love that my job is challenging and always something different. I also love the people that I work with. The most challenging part is trying to keep abreast of everything that is going on. There is just not enough time in the day!

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
I’m a sports enthusiast. I love football and basketball especially. Both of my kids have played both sports since they were young and we go to all of their games. My fall weekends are spent at a high school stadium on Friday nights and traveling to VA the next morning my son’s college games.

McCray poses with her two sons, who attend Bridgewater College and Knightdale High School, respectively, during a trip to the mountains.