Saturday, March 7, 2009

The End of a Long Journey

Today I enter the 2nd week of my last graduate level class. The journey is about to end and I will finally graduate with my MSN after three very long years. I am proud of myself, but also humbled by the education I have received. I have been in school for the last 13 years of my life. First to complete my associates degree in nursing, then my bachelor's degree and now the master's degree. My kids have really never known a time that their dad was not in school.

It was about 15 or 16 years ago that I decided I wanted to teach nursing. There were no road signs that led the way for me, rather, it was my pure determination to succeed that made my path. Every advisor I ever spoke to could never tell me what courses I needed or the best path to be able to teach. I relied on peer nurses and other nurses that taught to help me find the way through the classes I needed to take. During this journey, I moved from Florida to North Carolina. Just as I graduated with my BSN, I was told by the local colleges that I would need a master's to teach full time. I was totally disappointed that after finally finishing a bachelor's degree that I still could not teach.

Today, as I round the corner to a major life achievement for myself, I am once again being faced with an educational challenge. When I finally hold that MSNeD, will I be able to teach or will someone in an Ivory tower some where make a new rule that will send me back to school? In order to teach - everyone must have a doctorate. I am fearful that if that becomes the requirement - there will be one less teacher ... me! That does not mean that I will not go on for my doctorate eventually - what it means is that I am tired of the road blocks and lack of probable direction.

People want to know why there is a "shortage" of faculty in nursing - perhaps it is because there is no reasonable and time saving method to become degreed and credentialed. Every time you think you have reached where you need to be, the rules change.

Anyway - I digress from my original intent - to graduate! Can't beat that feeling of wonderful personal accomplishment - I guess I am a pretty smart guy after all.


  1. I am currently a nursing student who is almost done with school. I know the shortage of teachers is just one more things to add to the nursing shortage mix but it sucks that you are being told something different each time you want to teach. It can be a very frustrating challenge but nonetheless I am happy to hear that you do want to teach.

  2. The same problem exists for nurse practitioners. They are pushing the DNP really hard and I don't think that it's necessary. I may go back later and get it but I don't think that it will be required like they say. Remember, it was also expected that BSN would be the terminal degree for floor nurses.

  3. I was thankful to see your lit search--gave me confidence that my own lit search on FCC is on the right track for my masters course completion project--belated congrats on your achievement Patrick

  4. Thank you all for the wonderful comments. Again, I am so sorry for my delayed response. For 211 - thanks for your words of encouragement. I am now finished with my MSN and teaching full time. For NP, I totally agree with you. While the DNP may be a great deagree, NP has a long standing history of providing quality care with a MSN. Just to make a point - I support higher education can it can only serve to advance our profession and place on equal footing, but I do believe that primary care provided by NPs has a long standing history of quality at the Masters level and that should be recognized.

    For Mari - yes, you are on the right track and I am glad that you found interest in my literature review. I plan to publish a lot more so stay tuned.