Friday, December 7, 2007

Thoughts - Reflection

So - I have returned to school to finish my Masters degree. Ultimately, I want to teach. That has been and continues to be a firm desire of mine. I think I have a great deal to offer new nursing students. I have been teaching in an adjunct capacity for sometime now. Interesting though, that every time I finish a degree in nursing, the requirements to teach on a full time basis seem to change right at the same time I finish school. It can be and often is very frustrating to me. While I recognize the need for faculty members to have advanced degrees, it is frustrating how the degree requirements change right at the same time as I finish my education.

Ok - here is my question - when I finish my MSN, will the requirements for teaching change again to the PhD level? Is it a bad thing to require more advanced education for nursing educators? No - not at all, but I really wish someone would clue me in the changes so I can be prepared rather than disappointed.

I will earn my PhD and then colleges and universities are going to be hard pressed to tell me that I am not qualified to teach.

Ok - enough about that!

I have not been on for a while and apologize to my devoted readers ( I think that totals about 2 people), but you are both very special to me and I am glad that you read my blog. I have really grown to love blogging and hope to spend a great deal more time doing this. Of course - right now I should either be at the gym, finishing (starting actually) my Christmas shopping, or doing my homework assignment, which is due tonight. But I'd rather be here.

I am going to begin a section in my blog for theory. As I finish my course work on nursing theorists, I have discovered that theory can be extremely interesting. Yes, the elements of theory are boring and some theories are simply boring as well. But, the more I read and discover nursing theory the more compelling I am to inquire further. I think there is such a need for effective theoretical framework as nurses navigate the health care maze these days. We need empirical information that will help us as nurses to advocate for our patients and get the care they need.

Patients enter and leave the health care system so fast that many of their chronic needs fall through the cracks. As nurses, we have an opportunity and an obligation to help these patients access care and serves that will promote a quality of life. As a nurse - I love the advanced technology of our time, but I hate the health care system. There needs to be major change if we are ever to help those that need our help the most. As the baby boomers age - the system will become more bogged down and access to health care more difficult for those that need it the most.

As nurses - are we powerless to voice our desire for effective change to the system? I DON'T THINK SO! We are the most powerful professional group in health care. Our numbers are staggering, if we would only come together with one STRONG, collective voice. Yelling - IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE! Are you going to join and become a member of the collective voice? Or, are you going to just sit back and watch the system devour patients? Interesting and thought provoking.


  1. Hey Patrick:
    Thanks for your endorsement and bravo to you as well. I have such a high regard for nurses. They are such unsung heroes. They need a place to vent. I hope you come to see us soon. You are my hero. You will always have a very special place in my heart.

  2. Not much to offer on the patients falling through the cracks... I see it daily in the ED; the entire system is broken, everyone knows it, no one has the guts (political will) to help fix it...

    As for the PhD thing, it wouldn't surprise me. The move is on to require NP's to obtain their PhD before being allowed to practice; just as the BSN is becoming the new expected entry level for RN's, I think the MSN is the "next level", and it won't take a tremendous leap of logic to make the PhD the requirement to teach. Personally, I would aim for my PhD in education; I don't see the value in a doctorate in nursing, at least from this far down the educational ladder

  3. Yes John - you are right, the system is broken, the whole thing, starting with the ED and extending onto the floors. Terrible thing to have a broken health care system as the baby boomers enter their golden years.

    Thanks for your comments on this topic.

    John - can you tell me about Change of Shift and what that means? I am thinking I would like to be included on the next change of shift. How does that happen?

    Thanks again for your comments.

  4. Change of Shift is a Blog Carnival, or a collection of posts about any specific topic, run by an administrator who "created" it. That would be Kim, of Emergiblog in this case.

    (similar to "grand Rounds" which is the granddaddy of all blog carnivals, which is about all medical blogging)

    To be included, write a post that you want included, and visit a site (like mine, or Kim's) that has the blog carnival box on it's sidebar, and click on submit post. It will ask you for the permalink for the post, and send it to the carnival administrator.

    Submitting is not a guarantee for submission, I know Grand Rounds gets hundreds of submissions a week and only chooses 20-30 a week. The week I hosted "change of shift" I got about 25 submissions and used all but two (obvious selling something posts).

    If you have more questions, head over to emergiblog and read through Kim's history. She is probably the biggest of the nursing blogs out there...


  5. Thank you for the information. As a new blogger, your guidance has been very helpful. I took your advice and went to the carinval site and added the change of shift link. I now have a better understanding of the change of shift carnival. Thanks again!

  6. Patrick-
    Interesting thoughts about the master's. I'm finishing mine myself, in May - you're lucky! But in terms of your teaching question, I think at least for the forseeable future you'll have very little problem getting a faculty position without a PhD. Schools are desperate to higher people, and you can work towards a doctorate while you're there.

    With any industry, the requirements change as the profession matures. For nurses, we're still trying to get over the fact that all nurses should have BSNs. That being said, it'll probably take a while for the entire profession to catch up on the graduate level. The bottom line is, even though I'm not on faculty, but hope to be some day, I think your master's will serve you very well.