About One DNP

I earned my "terminal practice" degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in a journey of excitement and challenge. It inspired me to advocate for an all encompassing clinical credential rather than continuing the hodgepodge of nonsensical initials. I hope these entries will provide entertainment and insight into the Doctor of Nursing Practice experience, which will soon be the entry standard for all advanced practice nurses.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Settling into Semester Two

Well, maybe if you define settling as a crazed and disorganized irritability.

First, the good stuff - I did not start any fights on Blackboard in either Leadership & Health Policy or Psychiatric Assessment. I got a head-start on my facilitator duties for the first week of February in Concept & Theory Analysis and completed all of my reading for Leadership & Health Policy through the end of this week, including taking the emotional intelligence and leadership analysis quizzes which revealed I am rather perfect.

The bad stuff - I have made only a tiny dent in the reading assignments for Psychiatric Assessment which is arguable the most important class of the semester.  My clinical sites for Therapy, which I though were a stone cold lock, are now up in the air and I am going to have to go begging this week. Also, according to the Riso-Hudson personality test I took for Leadership & Health Policy, I am a contradictory jerk.

The plan - I am putting all of my weekly assignments into Google calender every Sunday so I can get the organization train moving by scheduling appointments with myself to sit and get it done. Ditto for my workouts which slacked way off since the semester started. I feel much smarter when the endorphins get flowing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Because Life Happens

As I was grumbling to myself about fitting in a blackboard post, I received this message in my email. I did not know Kim personally, but as a fellow traveler on the doctoral road I felt it was important to chronicle this tragedy. Positive thoughts and prayers to her family, friends and classmates.  WIth hope, someone will be inspired to continue her work.

Sad news….

Marie Gill and Michelle Collins inform me this morning that Kim Stewart, a 2nd year student in the PhD in Nursing program, died earlier this week at her home in Nashville  after falling and hitting her head the preceding day.  A subdural hematoma is the suspected cause of death.

Kim worked as a nurse practitioner at the Matthew Walker clinic in Nashville and was passionate about improving the health of African-American women. With her mentor, Dr. Mona Wicks, Kim planned to conduct research on depression in African-American female caregivers seen in primary care settings.  Prior to entering the PhD program, Kim also taught at TSU, sharing her expertise with nursing students.

Kim leaves behind her son, Jimmie, (a senior in high school) and husband, Buddy, and her extended family. Kim often mentioned how  supportive her family was of her decision to pursue doctoral education and their pride in her accomplishments.

Funeral services will take place in Jennings, Louisiana, her home town, on Saturday, January 8 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and the Funeral Mass will begin at 11:00 a.m. The arrangements were made through Kings Funeral Home in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Kim’s classmates are devastated over this tragic loss, and sending an arrangement for the services tomorrow. The PhD program will also be sending flowers.

We will gather on Monday, Jan. 10th from 12:40pm-1pm, in room 601 LA, to hold a brief memorial service in honor of Kim.

Sometimes we need someone who is associated with our loss or situation to talk to. University Health and the Student Assistance Program are available if you would like that outside support. 

We consider you to be this University’s most important asset. The health and well being of every student is of primary importance to us. Today’s society is increasingly complex and we know that you may face a variety of difficult personal situations as your education continues, such as the recent loss of one of your colleagues. If you would like to schedule an appointment for counseling, there are providers available through University Health Services.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

APNA 2011 Conference Call for Proposals

After attending the 2010 conference in Louisville, I am chomping at the bit to present something at the one in Anaheim this October. But what to pick? Chinese Medicine and psychiatric illness would be an excellent choice since it is my primary bread and butter. There are certainly enough PTSD and acupuncture studies and plenty of publications on TCM mental health theory to fill a poster. "The 7 Emotions of Psychiatric Care" has a nice ring. But is that really stretching my mind enough or just regurgitating other people's work?

I have a few other ideas cooking around in my head related to promotion of the profession, practitioner self-care, various yoga therapies, and utilization of social media, but nothing concrete. What I would really like is a partner to work with so we could develop something to stir some thinking.

The call for proposals is due March 1st.  All ideas welcome and appreciated!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Preparing for Semester Two

I blissfully neglected to remember over the holidays that I still have 75% of my DNP to go. The reality came crashing in this weekend when I opened up Blackboard (now available as an Android app - yippie!) and saw the updates syllabi and book lists for this semester.

Thank heaven the Amazon Store card offers 6-months deferred interest because I have over $800 in reading material to buy. The good news is that most of it I will actually use after graduation. Most of it.

This is the breakdown of courses:

Leadership & Health Policy 
I have already expressed my resentment at having to take this course again, but I would like to take this opportunity to stomp my feet and pound my fists - the reading and reference list for this course makes me feel like I should be eligible for a cabinet position. We have 7 discussion boards (35%), three essays on a book, podcast, or webinar review (30%) and a policy brief (30%) plus a lovely 5% just for showing up to class. Since I am teaching a section of health policy in undergraduate nursing this semester, this class will come in handy whether I like it or not. Book cost so far: $110

Assessment Strategies in Psych/Mental Health
This was the class I wish we had on webinar or podcast.  Our first assignment is a discussion board on the movie "Rachel Getting Married" which I will probably steal for my psych class this spring. Our grade is 60% weekly discussion board and 40% final exam. Book cost so far: $140 . . . not bad, except I have to purchase Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry which is running $350 for the 2-volume set.

Concept & Theory Analysis
This class does not kick off until later in January and there are a lot of moving parts. Weekly discussion boards with multiple essays and leadership responsibilities (30%), concept map (20%), concept analysis paper (20%), concept analysis presentation (10%), and theory evaluation (20%). There is only one thing more obnoxious than theories. Nursing theories. Oh, and the textbooks I have yet to order are going to run about $215.

Individual, Group, and Family Therapy
This is what separates the healers from the prescribe-and-gos! My first clinical class and I am so fortunate to have found a few really interesting preceptors, one of which is getting her certification in hypnotherapy and sex therapy. I have already read the better part of Man's Search for Meaning and have earmarked several point to ponder. We have 120 hours of clinical to complete with discussion board (30%), exams/quizzes (40%), and comprehensive final (30%). Book cost was $90 because there is crossover with texts from other courses.

This is one less class than last semester, however this is a meatier one due to the clinical component and depth of material that I must absorb and retain to be an effective provider. I see many massages in my future . . .