Discussion: Networking Opportunities
This week you begin to lay the foundation for your academic and professional success. Your efforts begin with a vision, which includes your own definition of success. Your vision may vary from those of your colleagues, but this does not mean you have to take these first steps alone.
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Walden University and the College of Nursing also have a vision and mission, which include helping you to make your own vision a reality. Members of your new academic community, such as faculty, support teams, and fellow students, can also be helpful. Current practitioners and other members of the professional community can also help you to clarify your vision.
This week’s Discussion asks you to think about how the Walden mission and vision and the College of Nursing mission and vision apply to your professional and academic goals. You will also begin to identify individuals and teams that can help you along the way, as you begin to design the “blueprint”—your Academic Success and Professional Development Plan—that will guide you toward your own vision for academic and professional success.
1. Review the Walden and the College of Nursing mission and vision statements, Walden’s goals and University Outcomes, and the MSN Program Learning Outcomes presented in this week’s Learning Resources.
2. Reflect on your professional and academic goals as they relate to your program/specialization.
3. Consider how the information in these resources fit with your own goals and to your becoming a scholar-practitioner.
4. Also consider academic and professional individuals and teams that you may collaborate with in support of your efforts as a student at the University and as a professional within your organization and career NURS 6002: Foundations for Graduate Study.
Walden and My Goals To Becoming a Nurse Educator
My name is xxx and I am enrolled in the MSN Nurse Educator program at Walden University. I am an oncology nurse with over ten years of nursing experience. I have worked with some remarkable nurse educators and Clinical Nurse Specialists throughout my nursing career who shaped me into the nurse I am today. I have a passion to teach and help others. I like to precept new nurses and give them the confidence they need to succeed in the nursing world. My goal is to become a clinical nursing instructor. Gaining understanding of how to teach will enable me to be the best educator I can be. “Role modeling and the influence of other nurse educators plays a major role in attracting nurses to become teachers” (Ross and Kerrigan, 2020). Walden enables its students to do on-site practicum during their curriculum which is what will shape me into a great nurse educator.
After repeatedly reading the vision of Walden University, the entirety of it seemed to point to one larger objective – “advancing the greater global good” (Walden University, 2020a). Education is an investment into oneself and society that brings about nothing but knowledge gains. It equips an individual to take on the world, interpret what is happening globally and tackle societal issues. The vision statement of Walden University is quite unique as it judges the knowledge gained against the ability to immediately tackle critical societal challenges. This seems like an impossible feat, and that is what drives me to this university. In both my academic and professional goals, I have strived to attain an education that can be applied to truly minister to the people that I encounter. Often when I come across issues in my workplace/society/family, it is in my nature to find the root cause and formulate a solution – sometimes simple, sometimes impractical even to my own standards. After understanding the vision statement of Walden University, I have come to the realization that it closely aligns with my own values – enhancing the greater good. This is made possible through “a distinctively different 21st century learning community” (Walden University, 2020a) NURS 6002: Foundations for Graduate Study.
To truly understand the mission statement of Walden University, I needed to first comprehend what it meant to be a scholar-practitioner. According to McClintock (2004), “The term scholar practitioner expresses an ideal of professional excellence grounded in theory and research, informed by experiential knowledge, and motivated by personal values, political commitments, and ethical conduct. Scholar practitioners are committed to the well-being of clients and colleagues, to learning new ways of being effective, and to conceptualizing their work in relation to broader organizational, community, political, and cultural contexts. Scholar practitioners explicitly reflect on and assess the impact of their work. Their professional activities and the knowledge they develop are based on collaborative and relational learning through active exchange within communities of practice and scholarship” (p. 396). As a career professional who has been practicing nursing for a decade, I find solace in the mission of Walden University. It has been a personal goal to pursue an education that accomplishes my dream of becoming a nurse educator. But more importantly, to be effective in this dynamic world of healthcare, and to be able to “effect positive social change”, a holistic transformation is required; the opportunity to do so is one that is granted by Walden University (Walden University, 2020a). Aside from being grounded in theory and research, which is what a conventional education provides, there also comes the possibility of gaining and applying experiential knowledge. Moreover, a scholar practitioner is one who is committed to the wellbeing of others NURS 6002: Foundations for Graduate Study.
“Advancing the greater global good” and “social change” –are the two main recurring themes that are seen throughout the Vision, Mission and Goals of Walden University (Walden University, 2020a). It doesn’t suffice that graduates receive their degree and climb the career ladder of success, but also, that they are agents of positive social change. As part of the process of finding the right school to further my education, I would read through the vision and mission statements of various institutions. I decided that I would pick the school that most closely aligned with my faith, core values and goals. This helped me lay out my career and academic goals so succinctly that Walden University
was a top choice. In a world that is rampant with misinformation, medical myths, and a lack of foresight and hindsight, it is important that societal change is brought about through the “development of principled, knowledgeable, and ethical scholar-practitioners, who are and will become civic and professional role models by advancing the betterment of society” (Walden University, 2020a).
Aside from all that, the Walden University webpage lets the reader know more about the MSN in Nursing Education. Once again, the common theme of social changes is present. The entire curriculum is based on the goal of impacting lives and the society through the care provided and the positive impact made on another student nurse. Another way of having an impact on lives and society can be found in the Learning Outcomes: “Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to special nursing care” (Walden University, 2020b). As I think back on my own professional and academic goals and how it closely relates to the learning outcomes, there was one item that especially caught my attention – addressing health disparities.
Although I will always strive for the advancement of this profession through ongoing research, communication, learning, commitment, quality improvement, patient centered care, etc., the one theme I will begin to actively adopt is societal change by addressing and reducing health disparities through patient/population advocacy. Societal change and advancing the greater good were themes that I always believed in, but never actively pursued. It is my hope that the educational experience gained through Walden University keeps that theme as a top priority going forward NURS 6002: Foundations for Graduate Study.
McClintock, C. (2004). Scholar practitioner model. In A. Distefano K. E. Rudestam & R. J. Silverman (Eds.), Encyclopedia of distributed learning (pp. 396). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412950596.n134
Ross, B., & Kerrigan, M. R. (2020). Addressing the Faculty Shortage Through Connections: Stories of Becoming a Nurse Educator. Journal of Nursing Education, 59(10), 545–550. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.3928/01484834-20200921-02
Walden University. (2020a). Vision, Mission, and Goals – Walden University – Acalog ACMS™. Retrieved October 14, 2020. from https://catalog.waldenu.edu/content.php?catoid=178&navoid=63595
Walden University. (2020b). Online MSN in Nursing Education. Retrieved October 14, 2020. from https://www.waldenu.edu/online-masters-programs/master-of-science-in-nursing/msn-nursing-education
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