Hear how this student wanted to keep more opportunities open rather than being constrained to be a Nurse Practioner.

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Female Speaker 1: That’s great, so as far as thinking about a major when you thought about going back to school. Why did you choose the Clinical Nurse Leader focus?

Female Speaker 2: You know that’s a really good question. So, I’ve been a nurse for ten years, and I knew as soon as I was done with nursing school that I wanted to go back. And I’m actually kind of looking ahead to see what the next thing is for me. I love school. But I was really torn. You know being the assistant nurse manager there’s some parts about being in management that I really like. But I’m just not ready to give up the clinical part yet. And so when I was looking at different degrees, you know when I had looked, everybody said well be a nurse practitioner. But the problem with that is then that really narrows where you can go with it. Not anything against the nurse practitioner, but for me personally I didn’t want to be tied to that role for the rest of my career.

And so I kind of wanted something that had leadership, you could go into leadership with it if you decided. But didn’t completely take me out of clinical right now as well. And with the clinical nurse leader program, like I said a little bit, you are a resource for your coworkers to make sure that they are able to improve care for their patients. So you’re able to impact a whole group of patients. The whole cohort or unit, and oh thought it is a degree where you work on the microsystem I think by impacting your microsystem you get involved with the macro system. So you start looking at the big picture of your facility.

One of the things that I’ve done on my unit since I’ve started this program, is a unit based counsel, where I’m trying to put some of the decision making for the unit back in the nurses hands kind of see how we can improve patients outcomes by having them be accountable and have a little bit more ownership through that process. And since we’ve done that we actually have started the trend where other units are starting unit based counsels and they are coming to ours to see how we’re doing it. And I just really liked that idea of being able to still have a direct impact on patient care, but do it by impacting all the patients on my unit, by helping all the staff on my unit. It was just the perfect degree for me where I didn’t want to go one direction with my nursing career. I still wanted to have a lot of opportunities. And I think with this program I really will still have a lot of opportunities.

And now even more that I’m almost done with the program because, when you’re kind of looking at the program and you’re looking at the list of classes, it seems kind of vague or maybe that they don’t really all go together. But now that I’ve done a lot of them, they really do blend together nicely. And build on top of each other where I really feel like I’m still learning new kind of evidence based practice topics, in addition to leadership and being a change agent, and, kind of a big one, how to write a business plan. And why would I ever want to learn that, well actually, nurses need to know that so we can kind of justify what is going on in our facility and where the funds are being spent.
So that was kind of some of the things I took into consideration for me when I was looking at this. I still have a lot of years left of nursing so I wanted to make sure I had a lot of options still, with my future and my career.

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