My Nursing Experiences and My Doctoral Degree

Having worked in the sphere of healthcare for several years, I decided that I should pursue a doctoral degree in nursing practice in order not only to develop my skills better and be able to help my patients more but also to carry out research that would help others to do so. In my practice, I had many situations that showed me this would be the right decision. But I would like to talk about three such experiences. I will also state my initial thoughts about my DNP project in this paper.

An Experience from my Graduate Coursework
During my graduate studies at Turabo University, I had numerous experiences, many of them in the clinical setting. They allowed me to learn much, and my preceptor was also invaluably helpful. Once I had to care for a patient in a hospital who was there due to gastritis. He almost recovered from his surgery when suddenly he developed a new symptom persistent severe headaches caused by very and . Not only was I able to help him alleviate the pain but also I provided significant assistance in diagnostics. The man had a complication after the surgery; his weakened immune system allowed HHV-6 to transfer from the latent to the active form and attack his meninx. He had to undergo some serious treatment, but he recovered in the end. I was very glad that I suggested carrying out the herpes tests and prevented him from developing a severe form of meningitis. The case very clearly showed me that in the future I ought to learn more and become an APN to care for my patients better and be able to contribute to their treatment more significantly.

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An Experience from my Practice
I worked as a bedside RN for five years, and I also had the experience of working in . Once I had to care for an alone elderly woman who had been trapped in a burning building and extracted from it with severe burns. She was burnt very badly and she was not unconscious all the time. I felt very compassionate towards her and cared for her as best as I could. Unfortunately, she did not make it; but it appeared to me that she knew how much I cared for her and she was very grateful. It was an extremely sad situation, but I was happy that I could at least gladden the woman by caring for her as best as possible. The case demonstrated to me how much people value when we care for them. I always tried hard to do that, but that time I decided that I should help other nurses to be able to care for their patients better. To do that, I supposed that carrying out a doctorate would be one of the best ways to do so.

An Experience that Shows my Strengths
And, finally, another experience that played a significant role in persuading me to pursue a DNP qualification occurred when I was practicing in Cuba. I have five years of practice as a medical doctor in Cuba, and five years experience of working as an RN (some of the practice was in ICU, as was mentioned). When I was working as a bedside nurse, there was a situation when many of our nurses were ill, and we had many patients. We had very much work then, but I found out that I could contribute much to our teamwork thanks to my good ability to work with others and my capacity for analytical thinking. Even though we had our hands full, and we tired ourselves out completely, we managed to help our patients on a very high level. I believe that that experience helped me develop my skills and become an APN one day.

Initial Thoughts about my DNP Project
In my DNP project, I want to explore the barriers that a nurse encounters in their practice and that prevent the nurse from realizing their full potential. Such barriers might have, for instance, organizational, educational, or psychological origins. For example, in my experience in the ICU, where I had to care for patients who in some cases died, it was at first very hard for me to accept that. Research shows that nurses are not always prepared to (Bloomer, Endacot, OConnor, & Cross, 2013); thus, I might be interested in researching how to improve this aspect of nursing practice. On the other hand, the situation I had when many of my colleagues were ill showed me that there are some important barriers in nursing practice and how easily they can be avoided. Besides, research demonstrates that, for instance, there also exist hindrances for nurse practitioners which can be disposed of if nurses were and clinic management better (Sharp & Monsivais, 2014). I believe that I could also help nurses to provide better patient care if I decided to examine this issue further.

As it can be seen, my work showed me more than once that I should pursue a doctoral degree. Some of such experiences were so bright that I still remember them very clearly. To help other nurses in their work, I would like to explore the barriers that hinder the work of registered nurses or nurse practitioners, to find out how they can be avoided. I hope that my future research will be a significant contribution to nursing professionals.


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