“Don’t let anything stop you! Find the support you need and don’t delay the decision because you think you’re too busy. If it’s important to you, then just do it and don’t listen to the naysayers.”
In this SNAC Success Story, Dorothy Neufeld, Associate Professor of Nursing, is looking back on her experience of completing a doctorate of nursing practice from Duquesne University while simultaneously teaching full-time in the associate degree program at State College of Florida.
“It was helpful for me to be a student at the same time I was a teacher! Everything I encountered to complete my doctorate was happening to my students during the Covid crisis. It was affecting me similarly to them and those parallels have helped me to understand the difficulties for all types of students during this strange year. It was an emotionally tough year. During the daytime while I was teaching I have to be strong and supportive to my students who are very concerned about not being able to graduate on time or even at all! And then in the night time, when I was online completing my doctoral courses, I found I needed the same support from my nursing faculty.”
“Pick a good university that has a philosophy similar to yours. One of the reasons I chose Duquesne is that it allowed me to study abroad and I wanted that experience. I was able to go to Rome and other places in Italy and Sicily to compare and contrast our healthcare systems.We experienced outreach to the refugees and the homeless and elderly as well as acute care hospitals within Palermo and Rome. It’s amazing to go into a building built in the 1500s that is currently serving as an acute care hospital.”
“The most important way I am using my doctoral education as I teach now is to incorporate evidence-based practice and research into all of the content. I teach medical surgical and pediatric contact for the second year students in the associate degree nursing program at state college of Florida.”
“Nursing Faculty has had to become very creative and innovative during this COVID time of necessary alternatives for education.”
SNAC is pleased to have awarded Dorothy a Doctoral scholarship to complete her Doctoral degree. Seven local Nursing faculty have now received assistance for graduate school from SNAC funders.
Those are the first two words of advice coming from Angela Vitale PhD. Angela just graduated in August 2020 with her PhD in Nursing education from Walden University. Her four-year journey started in 2016 and she embarked on it while having two young children not yet in high school and working full-time as faculty at Florida Southwestern State College associate degree program in nursing.
This is one determined and hard-working woman!
Angela had already earned a Master of Science in Nursing education from Walden and that experience helped with her choice of university but she did look at others before making the decision. “There are only a few PhD programs in nursing education, four or five in the United States, and this one happened to fit my schedule better because of the weekend long residencies versus full week residencies.” Congruency with a work schedule and home life is one of the most important aspects in choosing a curriculum and a university..
“So many people are overwhelmed because they don’t want to think about the time needed to complete a doctoral degree and dissertation. But if you break it down into parts and work each part separately it will finally come together and you will have accomplished your goal! It was encouraging to see how many people around me were cheerleading and helping. Faculty members would volunteer to pick up work for me and of course the support of my family was essential.”
Equally essential is the financial ability to go back to school. “I am so grateful for all SNAC did, the finances were amazing. The SNAC team made me feel so supported and elevated. That energy pushes you to get it done and keep going.”
So, what did you learn about yourself during this journey Angela? “Oh my gosh I learned way more than I ever would have imagined but first and foremost I learned how capable I am of doing whatever I set my mind to. Now I encourage everyone to go back to school. We need so many prepared nursing faculty to teach the next generation of nurses. We have so much wisdom to pass on and we must build talent and engender expertise in our professional nurses.”
Angela contributed to Nursing education research by investigating The Impact of Faculty Bullying on Associate Degree Nursing Students. A topic of concern in nursing schools and health care facilities across the country, she surveyed recently graduated nurses to determine perceptions and feelings.
“The Impact of Faculty Bullying on Associate Degree Nursing Students” by Angela M. Vitale – ScholarWorks Bullying is prevalent in the profession of nursing, impacting the quality of health care and health care costs. The foundation of bullying, in the profession of nursing, may be attributed to bullying behaviors in nursing academia among nursing faculty and nursing students. Using Bandura’s social learning theory, the purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between bullying … scholarworks.waldenu.edu
Angela Vitale PhD recommends “Don’t hesitate”. Contact your SNAC nurse education navigator today and get started on considerations for your advanced nursing degree. Don’t hesitate!
Darla Stiles, Director of Education at Blake and Larry, who sacrifices himself for clinical simulations. Blake Medical Center has been actively involved with SNAC. Yesterday your NEN talked with 5 BMC employees while checking out #NursingEducation in action!