I began researching schools and programs that were entirely online NURS – 6003N Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing. I have several friends who have gone to Walden University in the recent past, and spoke very highly of it, so I put this university on my list. As I was searching, some of the most important facets for me are the reputation and ranking of the school, cost, educational level of the professors, and the vision and mission statements. It was easy to cross off several universities for me due to the absence of the important factors I mentioned. Walden University stayed on the top of my list for quite some time. I can honestly say this university meant all of my criteria. Walden’s mission and vision statements spoke to me for several reasons. What I appreciate most about Walden’s mission statement is that it highlights diversity (Walden University, 2020). The topic of diversity is exceedingly important to me for multiple reasons, and so much that I wanted to be sure I was a part of a graduate program that emphasizes and promotes this topic.
In meeting my personal goals, and reading on Walden’s website in the College of Nursing vision and mission statements, I knew I had found the perfect college for me when I discovered that Walden’s view is not just to feed us knowledge, though that is exceedingly important as a practitioner, but this distinct university desires to move us to become change agents (Walden University, 2020). That is when I knew it was a perfect fit for me and would challenge me as a person and nurse. I want to be challenged to think outside my box, and the knowledge base that I have thus far. This proved evident in the scholar-practitioner portion of the vision and mission statements by stating “have a deep curiosity, drive, and commitment to solve pressing problems in their field” (Walden University, 2020, Vision, Mission, and Goals, para. 3). This is when Walden became my school of choice. It is my belief that as nurses, we are a trusted, revered profession that has a platform to produce change in not only the medical field, but in the world. This is what I desire to be a part of in my life, especially as a practitioner in the future NURS – 6003N Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing.
The word networking can be thought of in a negative connotation, thus associated with being a smoothie type person or schmoozing people just to get a desired outcome (Schmidt, n.d.). I was glad this was brought up in this article because I believe nurses are as far removed from exhibiting salesmen or insurance agent schmoozing behavior as anyone could be (Schmidt, n.d.). Professional networking for nurses is a valuable and useful tool that we should be taking advantage of in order to make professional relationships that may lead to career advancements, increased knowledge base, and develop a more powerful voice to effect change (Schmidt, n.d.) NURS – 6003N Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing.
According to P. Wofford, Founder of Your Nurse Connection, over 70 percent of nursing jobs are secured via professional networking opportunities (Wofford, 2018) NURS – 6003N Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing. We are all aware that social media can be used positively or negatively, and in the case of professional networking, social media is an effective tool (Wofford, 2018).
I personally belong to several Facebook medical groups, and have enjoyed the networking and exchange of knowledge. Other interesting ways to network as a nurse are becoming an influencer on Instagram or become a blogger, volunteer, attend conferences, have a signature look about you, seek out connections, and have business/networking cards available to exchange with connections made (Wofford, 2018). This article suggests not joining more than 10 social media type groups, and always send a follow-up email after making a connection (Wofford, 2018). Conferences are my personal favorite, and one that I’ve utilized frequently in my nursing career. I have always gained knowledge, and used it to empower my peers or those I supervise. It is the conferences I’ve attended on my own that have afforded be to become a change agent in my nursing career NURS – 6003N Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing.
I have chosen the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program, not only because I enjoy this field, but because it needs and deserves change. It was my belief that the school I chose would have a great deal to do with the effectiveness of the changes I will be able to execute for the greater good of my profession. Becoming a scholar practitioner will enable and equip me to be able to effect the changes I hope to be a part of in my community regarding mental health advocacy. I have networked with a psychologist in the past who has given me great insight into the challenges surrounding the stigmas associated with the mental health industry, and I believe that has helped me by forming me into a passionate, and non-judgmental nurse to advocate for those struggling with mental health issues. NURS – 6003N Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing.
Schmidt, K. (n.d.). 5 reasons nurses should engage in professional networking [Blog post]. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://blog.bluepipes.com/5-reasons-nurses-should-take-professional-networking-seriously/
Walden University, 2020, Vision, mission, and goals. In 2019-2020 Walden University catalog. https://catalog.waldenu.edu/content.php?etc
Walden University. (2020). Scholar practitioner. Retrieved from waldenu.edu/about/who-we-are/scholar-practitioner
Wofford, P. (2018). 10 tips for nurses who hate networking. Retrieved from https://nurse.org/articles/tips-for-nurse-networking/