“When you feel like there is something that you can’t do, just remember: we are nurses, and we can do anything! I know this little mantra has helped me.”
— Joy Scott (G’14)
Joy Scott (G’14), of Washington state, earned her BSN in 2011 and is currently enrolled part time in the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program. Here, she talks about how she makes studying a family affair, and the advice her aunt gave her while she was deciding whether or not to pursue an advanced degree.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree?
I knew that I wanted to do more in my nursing career. I always knew I wanted to care for patients at an advanced level and be a nurse practitioner. One of the many reasons I love nursing is that the field is so diverse, and you can go into any specialty of nursing. Our careers can go as far as we want them to, and we each control our own destinies.
Why did you want to pursue the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner specialty?
I chose this specialty after working with an instructor in undergrad who was a CNM/WHNP. She was so meticulous, organized, compassionate, and she just made caring for women exciting.
I enjoy working with women and love the beauty of birth. I don’t think that I can imagine myself doing anything other than caring for women and helping them bring life into this world.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in this career path?
Harvest patience, find ways to keep yourself organized, be confident in yourself and your abilities, stay positive, find time for yourself, and allow yourself to be a student. This program is challenging and when you add work and family to the mix, it becomes stressful. Learning how to manage your stress with all of these qualities will help to bring balance and peace to your life. You will reap all of the rewards of success in the end.
What has your experience been with the Learning Management System (2GU)?
2GU is as easy to use as Facebook. 2GU is a very user-friendly platform. I am not very computer savvy, and it wasn’t that difficult for me to use it from day one. Every now and then there are problems, but it is the same with everything else in life — the only difference is that student support works very quickly to help resolve the issues and work out the kinks. 2GU has even evolved in the last 18 months that I have been in this program.
What is one skill you believe every nurse should possess, no matter what stage in his or her career?
One skill that I believe that every nurse should possess no matter what stage of their career is critical thinking. Critical thinking is important in all aspects of nursing and medicine. It is what gives us the ability to practice safely and autonomously. Patients trust us because we are compassionate and can advocate for them. Our critical thinking skills can make or break us.
As nurses, we are with patients all day, so we need to quickly identify issues that can lead to critical outcomes. In advanced practice, these skills become the basis for everything we do with patients. It is how we assess, diagnose, and work with patients on the plan of care.
Do you currently work part or full time?
I currently work per diem as an ICU nurse.
In what states have you practiced?
I have practiced in Florida and Washington state.
In what departments have you worked?
I have worked in trauma, a surgical intensive care unit, emergency room, endoscopy, pediatrics, family medicine, and I also consult as a legal nurse.
How old are you?
I am 36 years old.
How long have you been in nursing?
I have been in nursing since 2006.
What are some ways you’ve been working to create a healthy work-school-life balance?
For a healthy work-school-life balance, I have developed a routine in every aspect of my life. I have to prioritize and become extremely organized. My children and I study together, and when they are finished with their homework, they help me study. I try to become creative with my studying so that my children can be involved with what I am doing. It makes it fun and interesting.
The program is very demanding, and I have had to make a lot of sacrifices to be successful in this program. I had to change my way of thinking and trade in my very stable job to work toward my future, financial security, and stability for my children. Although my children are young, they have been very supportive and understanding; they motivate me every day to do my very best!
Do you have an example you can share of a time when you were able to apply something you’d learned in class to your current job?
There are so many moments and examples that I can think of. The program has made me see things differently. I now look at every situation from a provider aspect, and when I review labs or talk to patients, I start thinking about the various pathological processes and come up with a differential diagnosis in my head.
I also tend to collaborate more with the providers than I did before. I can see how they tease out the diagnosis from their differential, and see if I came up with the same diagnosis. Really, the program has made me become more engaged.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Going back to grad school was a very tough decision for me, but my aunt, who is a nurse practitioner, actually explained it to me like this:
“…you don’t want to live with regrets of not trying to advance in your career. You are great at what you do now, but you are meant to do far more than what you are doing now.”
When you feel like there is something that you can’t do, just remember: we are nurses, and we can do anything! I know this little mantra has helped me.
We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-HOYA (4692).