What has been the most interesting aspect of your clinical practice?

The most interesting aspect of my clinical practice is having the opportunity to work with a diverse population of patients from all over the world.  The doctoral program provides a foundation to become an effective leader and provide nursing care at the highest level to many different people. My professional and academic experiences have allowed me to recognize the importance of preventative care, education and patient management. Working in a large academic cancer center, I have the opportunity to learn about complex disease processes. Health care is constantly changing and it is important to continue to grow with the profession using new knowledge and experiences as a way to transform healthcare delivery and outcomes.

How do you balance the amount of research with the required hours of rotation?

Balancing between research and clinical work requires organizational skills, prioritizing and time management. Clinical hours during the day and doing research projects in the evenings and on weekends made for a busy schedule with not much time for anything else. I knew when I started the doctoral program it would be a big commitment. [I recognized] the sacrifices I needed to make were temporary and would ultimately be rewarding and beneficial to my professional career.

What have been your biggest challenges you have faced during your time in nursing school, and what advice would you give prospective students?

The challenges I faced during nursing school were different at each level of my education. As an undergraduate, the biggest challenge was the required time and commitment needed to be successful.  Long hours of studying and clinical rotations were essential for staying focused on the end goal. Recognizing how undergraduate studies prepare you for a future career in nursing was important. At the graduate level, it was the work life balance and having the ability to attain both professional and personal goals. With graduate studies it is important to understand you have a career along with the recognition of all of the addition opportunities that would be possible. My advice for prospective students is to find good mentors along the way who provide positive encouragement and share their knowledge. Nursing is a rewarding career because all of the hard work and dedication is worth it on many levels. I was fortunate to have attended schools that prepared me well to embark my nursing career.