Second-year Doctorate of Nursing Practice student in the MS-DNP program from Bend, Oregon
Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing?
As a little girl, one of my most profound influences was my aunt, who was a nurse. I always wanted to be like her, and my caring personality was a perfect fit for a nursing career.
What drew you to the UArizona College of Nursing?
As a practicing holistic nurse, I was seeking a rigorous program with faculty who would emphasize the concept of self-care of nursing students. The University of Arizona has excellent integrative programs in nursing and medicine, which were an attraction. I also have a passion for teaching nursing students and found the Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment Program opportunity to be a good fit for me.
"As a practicing holistic nurse, I was seeking a rigorous program with faculty who would emphasize the concept of self-care of nursing students. The University of Arizona has excellent integrative programs in nursing and medicine, which were an attraction," ~ Jennifer Paulson, 2nd-year Doctorate of Nursing Practice student in the MS-DNP program
What drew you to the MS-DNP specialty?
When I applied for my Doctorate of Nursing Practice program at the University of Arizona, I had been a practicing nurse for 19 years and a Family Nurse Practitioner for 12 years. I've always known that I would earn my doctorate. My career sidetracked a bit with other continuing education and certifications in functional, integrative medicine, and holistic nursing. In 2018 I had an urge to develop my scholarly skills and calling to move into academia. It was very intuitive that earning my DNP was the next stepping stone. I wanted to enhance my research and scholarly skills to give back to my profession in a new way.
What features of the program are you especially passionate about?
The online delivery format has worked well for my lifestyle as I continue my private practice part-time.
What faculty members have made the biggest impressions on you?
In my previous nursing education, no one encouraged self-care for me, the future nurse, and nursing student. This led me on a path of compassion fatigue and burnout. In the last six years, I learned through my integrative and holistic nursing education that self-care is non-negotiable for nurses. During RISE orientation, Dean Moore made an impression when she took a hand-raising poll on how many students were practicing self-care. She encouraged daily self-care for students during the nursing program. Dr. Renee Gregg has also continued to emphasize and provide regular resources on self-care for DNP students throughout the DNP project courses. I've enjoyed working closely with Dr. Allen Prettyman, who is mentoring me into the world of academia as a teaching assistant. Overall, I've found the faculty to be warm, inviting, helpful, and compassionate.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time at the College of Nursing?
I enjoyed attending RISE at the beginning of my program, where I was able to meet fellow Nurse Practitioner classmates and make connections.
What are your hopes for the future?
I plan to graduate and work my way into a nurse educator position, where I can share my knowledge and passion for holistic nursing. Inspiring nurses to be healthy healers is essential for the nursing profession.
What are your extracurricular activities?
When I'm not at work or doing schoolwork, I love to practice yoga, study herbalism, and Ayurvedic medicine, to hike in nature, garden, and cooking healthy meals.
What other degrees do you hold?
Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master's of Science in Nursing.