The Master of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in nursing education can be understood in further detail by an interview process outlining a person’s career overview, graduate educational experience and their present vocational position. The individual chosen (D.C.) is a mentor, who is handing down the baton to me, as the clinical instructor for a group of nursing students at Biola University. D.C. has numerous years experience as a bedside nurse as well as an educator.
Overview of Career
D.C. always knew she wanted to be a nurse and began nursing school at the young age of 17. In 1977, she received her Advanced Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Georgefox University, in Newburg, Oregon. The positions she held included: working as a bedside nurse for three years, a nurse in critical care for seven years and a supervisor/manager for 20 years. This 30-year experience took place at a community hospital called Providence Health and Services, in Oregon.
D.C. went on to receiver her Master’s in Leadership and Nursing Education from Warner Pacific University in Portland, Oregon, from 2006-2008. While attending graduate school she continued to work at Providence Health and Services. Her current position made it necessary to go back to school because the institution was requiring all supervisors to have a Master’s degree. D.C. enjoyed her on-line educational experience from Warner Pacific. After her degree, she became the manager/director for multi-services including: wound care, care management, social services, medical-surgical and telemetry units. This took place over a four-year period and then D.C. became the Director of Education at Providence for an additional three years. This is where she taught for the University of Great Falls, Montana for their RN to BSN satellite program. D.C. taught live, virtual classrooms with students from many states. She retired from Providence in 2011 and moved to California with her beloved husband, who became the Dean of Rosemead, at Biola University, in La Mirada, California.
Soon after her move to California, D.C. was asked by the nursing department of Biola University, if she would consider teaching for them. She said no at first but then was enticed to begin as a part time clinical instructor for the Bachelor’s in Nursing Program. She began as a community health instructor and then applied for the full-time position as an Associate Professor. She taught Management and Leadership in the fall and Nursing Community in the spring. D.C. is a Level Coordinator for all level 3 activities in the nursing department and part of the administration team as well. Competencies learned in the graduate program included team building, coaching, developing unity and administration skills. Some of her various certifications over the years include: Medical/Surgical Certified, ACLS, PALS and NRP. She also is a master trainer for crucial conversations and a senior facilitator for select interview training. While at Biola University, D.C. also took 80 hours of epidemiology online through the Center’s for Disease Control. She is also part of the FEMA disaster response program and held an earthquake preparedness day at the university this year. Her graduate degree gave her all the necessary tools to confidently teach at a university level.
Pearls of Wisdom
For any student in a graduate program it is essential to have a mentor who can give you advice. Words of wisdom from D.C. included “Everything is a conversation. Even if the conversation is painful, be open and honest.” The next golden nugget from D.C. was, “Just do what’s next and pretty soon you’re done.” This helped me to realize to take one step or one assignment at a time and not look with fear to the future. D.C learned organizational skills and was able to write specific objectives for nursing education. Her thesis was on how to be a new graduate with confidence and competence. She learned a new appreciation for people cultural diversity. One thing she learned the most about herself was that she was biased. She encouraged me to question my biases and assumptions in everything we do. These were some incredible tools I will take with me as I continue through the graduate program.
The effects of graduate education can enhance your skills, increase your knowledge, give you more awareness culturally, enable you to have better organization and make decisions, as well as become a better communicator. D.C. felt she was able to practice her new skills at the hospital she was already working for in a safe environment with people she trusted. What was affected the most in D.C.’s experience during grad school was her attitude. She gained a broader perspective and realized there was so much to gain from others. She felt her graduate degree gave her critical thinking skills that she can use forever. D.C. was an excellent example of someone who has used their graduate degree to the fullest extent as teacher, mentor, advisor and facilitator.
The Master of Science in Nursing can be understood in further detail by an interview process outlining a person’s career overview, graduate experience and their present career. I have gained a clearer understanding of the benefits of a graduate degree and am excited to be on this journey with fellow nurse enthusiasts.