A New DNP Student Is Born
As I write this blog post I am sitting in a small dorm room
on top of a mountain in Kentucky on the first day of my DNP orientation. I am
back at my educational home: Frontier Nursing University. I will be honest with
you in that I did not think that I would be here this soon after graduating.
Post graduate school I had educational burn out. Studying,
clinicals, work and family had culminated to a boiling point and I had sworn
off school for at least a year. Then a funny thing happened: I got a job which
provided a schedule of many days off and my thoughts were, if I had school work
to do, I could actually have time to complete it.
I researched a variety of DNP options comparing cost, time
and the schools mission. With each category I immediately fell back onto
Frontier. It is a hard thing to explain: the community, the history, the
passion. It truly is one of those things that you have to experience for yourself.
As I get ready to turn in for the night I know that I have come home.
I will be honest with you: I am nervous. This is a different
nervousness than I felt when I first came to campus to orient for my FNP
program. I was expected to be a clean slate and to learn as I went along.
Because I just graduated this past fall I feel that I really
have not gained any expertise as a nurse practitioner. Therefore, how do I know
what I want to change in nursing practice? I know that over the next 3 days some
of my fears will most likely be eased. I will get to meet some graduating DNP
students, sit in to observe their capstone presentations and be paired up with
one for a mentor-mentee relationship.
The next 15 months of my life will not be easy, but I know that
I will again be adding to my knowledge base and be able to provide patients and
my community with excellent care. Ultimately I hope to be a faculty at a school
like FNU that will help to cultivate future practitioners.
There is continued mention here on campus that I am now a
leader. Eventually I will be looked upon as an expert in my topic for my
capstone project. This again is a concept and role that I am not sure fits at
the present time. During my journey I hope to seek out other leaders who will serve
as role models and who will help sculpt me into the leader that I should one
day be. Until then I continue to take in, learn and reflect.
The mountains of Kentucky do something to the soul. This
environment here on campus provides a level of serenity that really allows you
to think on a different level. The community is humble, the healthcare issues
challenging, but all of it allows you to appreciate a different level of