Q&A: My journey towards achieving my Doctor of Nursing Practice
What prompted you to go back to school for your Doctor of Nursing Practice?
From the beginning of my nursing career, I have been fortunate enough to have countless educators and nursing leaders who have instilled in me the principle of being a lifelong learner. As a nurse, I can say first and foremost, I wanted to pursue my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in order to provide the most effective, evidence-based practice to the patients and families I care for.
How will this degree benefit you in your current role at Texas Children’s?
After becoming a nurse practitioner, it became even more apparent that continuing my education and earning my doctorate would equip me with the knowledge and skills to not only actively seek new knowledge in our continually changing world of medicine through research, but to implement practice change for the betterment of patient care. Texas Children’s fosters these same principles in the efforts as an institution to be on the forefront of medicine, and I am fortunate enough to be able to practice alongside the best and brightest minds in my field.
Where did you get your DNP degree? How would you describe your DNP journey? What was it like embarking on this journey?
I attended Vanderbilt University for both my MSN and DNP, an opportunity I am so thankful I was given! The journey through my graduate education was definitely challenging, but I was unceasingly supported throughout the process by my colleagues, professors, mentors, as well as my incredible family. As with many pursuits in life, the decision to continue my education was accompanied with many sacrifices, but the encouragement and support I received over the years made the achievement possible.
Describe your emotions when you received your DNP.
Due to COVID restrictions, I was unable to attend a commencement ceremony in Nashville, but Vanderbilt held a virtual ceremony! I was actually at Texas Children’s during the zoom ceremony, and I was able to watch along with a handful of my fellow Bone Marrow Transplant providers following our shift. It was an incredible moment to be able to celebrate this accomplishment while surrounded by the team I feel so privileged to be a part of, and resonated very deeply that I am exactly where I am supposed to be here at Texas Children’s!
Texas Children’s offers educational and professional development opportunities for nurses. How did Texas Children’s support you?
Texas Children’s was very supportive of my desire to further pursue my education, and fostered an environment conducive to my personal and professional development. As I continued to work full time as a nurse practitioner, I always felt encouraged by my colleagues in my efforts to complete my doctorate, and I believe this will continue as I have been welcomed into this exceptional community of health care leaders and scholars.