RN, MSN, CEO
Greater New York City Area
My name is Matthew Browning. I have been an RN for 14 years, and the CEO of YourNurseIsOn.com for the past two. Welcome to a day in my life!
As CEO of YourNurseIsOn.com, I am responsible for the day to day operations of YourNurseIsOn.com as well as our strategic planning, marketing campaigns, and business development. As the inventor of the IntelliBlast Communications platform that powers YourNurseIsOn.com, I am also responsible for development prioritization, release coordination, and technological innovation for the IntelliBlast platform. Being the CEO of a technology start-up company entails wearing many different hats and in an effort to lead by example, I am often available to help anywhere I am needed in the organization. We have a team of five in-house software developers and more than a dozen highly skilled outsourced professionals that I also manage with the help of our wonderful CTO.
BACKGROUND, EXPERIENCE, and HOW I GOT HIRED:
I did not expect to become a founder and CEO of a tech start-up. I am a nurse by training and while working my way through Yale’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program as a nursing supervisor, I realized that I often spent 25% of my day calling replacement staff, one by one, on the telephone. This experience, repeated for years at various facilities throughout the state, led me to believe that there had to be a better way to contact staff when needed. It turned out that there wasn’t, and I set out to build one. This was a difficult decision for me personally as I was graduating as a Nurse Practitioner, was assured of a good paying profession and had an amazing amount of student loans waiting for me after graduation. My only qualifications were being an expert nurse, having an in-depth understanding of the staff replacement and communication process, and having been an ardent early-adopter of technology my entire life. The dream was easy, I wanted a “Genie,” just blink and the appropriately skilled nurse would appear before you, ready, willing and able to work wherever they were needed. Simple, right? Well, not exactly. I envisioned a real-time, 2-way, multi-channel communications platform that would allow us to ‘click’ what we needed and the system would figure out who was qualified, available and their preferred methods of communication. The system would then contact them by text, phone and/or email and they could, of course, respond immediately and be confirmed for the shift.
After hundreds of design sketches, innumerable logic paths and thousands of hours, we had enough to assemble a team and begin to do what no one had done before. We spent months overcoming the technical challenges and finally had a workable proof of concept. At this time, I was ‘hired’ and became the CEO of our newly founded and funded company. Ten years of nursing education was shifted from caring for my patients one by one, to attempting to heal a suffering healthcare system in what can only be described as a huge leap of faith. We fully believed that our system could revolutionize the allocation of distributed workforces with unprecedented efficiency and had no choice but to share it with the world. I have been very fortunate to have a supportive and understanding wife who believes in me and in YourNurseIsOn.com’s mission. In time, our prototypes became stable platforms, customers became involved in refinements and we filed our International Patent Application. Our presentation of YourNurseIsOn.com to the public was at The Health 2.0 convention in San Francisco during November of 2009.
DAY IN MY LIFE:
Up and at ‘em happens at 4:45 a.m. like clockwork without an alarm, and I sneak into my reading area armed with wi-fi, laptop and water. Two hours, 15 newspapers, 6-10 journals and many articles later, it is 7 AM which is one of my favorite times of the day. My 25-month-old son, AJ, awakes and has a morning bottle on my lap for 30 minutes. I know this will be ending soon and try to do this with him daily. Then we both go running off full of energy, he to his Momma and me to the gym (to work out), the garden (to think) or to early meetings (to work) depending on the tasks at hand.
At 9 AM the crew arrives and we begin to accomplish the lists of work we have scheduled and prepare to handle the unexpected. Customer contacts, work meetings, investor discussions, sales meetings and marketing occupy the majority of the day. Skype meetings, domestic and international, together with GoToMeetings, are scheduled with military precision and my myriad of minders do their best to keep me on track and on schedule. This continues until 5 PM, or so, as the team filters out of the office. This leads to AJ’s dinner, bath and bedtime unless I am involved in pressing West Coast meetings or traveling and occupies my 5:30 to 7pm slot most evenings. This is when my ‘real work’ begins- follow-ups, networking, product design, strategy and the evaluation of our organization’s performance often takes place during the evening hours. Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging, committees, boards and professional obligations are often interspersed throughout these days and evenings but I try to wrap up by 10PM most nights. As an entrepreneur, my weekends very often resemble the weekdays, with a bit more family time.
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. There is much uncertainty, many difficulties and endless challenges that take a toll on your family, your finances and your personhood. Becoming an RN was a great choice, and going on to become a Family Nurse Practitioner may have been an even better choice. Becoming an entrepreneur? Well, for me, it was not really a ‘choice,’ it was more of an irresistible need to share our solution with the entire world, to help others and to make the world a little bit better. An irrepressible calling, a continuing need to fix a system that helps so many, my little way of caring for the caregivers, if you will.
If you eat it, breathe it, feel it and know that you simply must change the world with your idea- AND, you are able and prepared to sacrifice immeasurably for 3-5 years with NO GUARANTEES of success – THEN you may want to become a Nurse Entrepreneur or an IT Entrepreneur. If you add in a good helping of determination, work ethic, perseverance and flexibility, you may actually succeed. Until then, learn, practice and network with everyone (http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewbrowning). Then find and fix a real problem with a real solution and an awesome team.
Whew! What a day. It is important to become educated, to practice and to accomplish in our personal and professional lives. It is even more important to be aware, to understand how to learn and to to use those less developed skills to eventually solve difficult problems or to overcome challenges that we face. When we are in tune with the possibility of solution, a complaint or problem becomes an opportunity. If we could do that differently, better or something instead, would it make things more efficient, cheaper or safer? If so, then there is a possible business, product or solution which you could germinate, cultivate and grow into your very own company. There are thousands of problems and challenges that require solutions and maybe it is one of your ideas could save time, money or lives in response. If you believe it and are passionate about it, I’d say go for it!
Matthew Browning RN