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Advanced Education Increases Nursing Professional Opportunities

A nursing educator explains why she encourages nurses to pursue a BSN degree.

By Toni Christopherson, RN, MSN, EdD
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"A Doorway to Providing Better Care”

By Toni Christopherson, RN, MSN, EdD
Director, Special Projects, CHOC (Childrens Hospital of Orange County), Orange, CA

Toni Christopherson, RN, MSN, EdDI have been a registered nurse for about 25 years. I completed my ADN degree in Canada, which is actually a diploma there. This gave me a strong foundation on which to build my nursing career. I did my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, prior to completing a Master’s of Science in Nursing at California State University Sacramento and a doctoral degree in education at the University of Southern California.

I know that the Bachelor’s Degree provided me with an increased theoretical background to enhance my practice and to provide even better care. For example, the nurses and physicians would engage in a healthy competition during rounds about the pathophysiology of the patient and the corresponding treatment plan. It was great to “beat” the docs! It was very rewarding to take what I’d learned in class and immediately apply it to the benefit of nursing and to the benefit of the image of the profession of nursing.

The Joy of Being a Nursing Educator

This pride and joy in being a nurse gave me the inspiration to continue my lifelong dream of being an educator. I have continued to educate nursing students for the past 12 years, and I now work as a nursing leader in health care administration.

Teaching nursing school is one of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities an individual can have. The graduation ceremony is one of great pride and celebration, not only for the individual but for the entire family. In many cases the husband may have cooked, cleaned, and picked up to cover those things traditionally done by his wife; sometimes it was the children who learned that macaroni is okay as a leftover; and in most, it was the whole family that realized each could assume new and additional responsibilities as part of the functioning family unit. Graduation really is a family celebration!

For the faculty, it is a time of pride—in knowing that a contribution has been made to a greater and healthier society through the education of healthcare professionals: nurses! These nurses will go into the field to promote health and prevent disease and disability. It is through their healing hands that the impact of an educator’s work is realized.

What Does a Bachelor’s Degree do?

First, it gives us the knowledge to provide an ever-higher level of care from an even stronger theoretical basis. Next, it introduces us to the full scope of professional opportunities we can pursue, whether that means providing direct care, educating future nurses, offering leadership and administrative skills, or conducting research. It is a doorway leading to wonderful ways in which we can provide better care.

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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