*The following is in partnership with Smitten Scrubs. All views and opinions are my own.*
You may or may not know I’m a nurse. You may also be aware (or not) that I’m currently pursuing my doctorate in nursing practice. I announced recently on Instagram that I abruptly decided to switch majors. I figured since we’re in the back to school season, I’d elaborate with you all a little more about the process and what exactly a DNP is.
Why I’m Switching Majors
You all should know by now I’m a ginormous advocate for mental health. I’ve written several different posts about my own personal struggles, tips to being a calmer person, etc. My former major was a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership – aka a mouthful. I was sitting on an airplane a couple of months ago going to California to start my CoolSculpting partnership when someone saw my school books in my bag and thus asked what they were for, etc. They then asked me the unavoidable question: So what do you want to do when you graduate? I’ve never had a great answer for that question, ever. My nursing career has been sprinkled across critical care, emergency medicine, trauma, and solid organ transplant (my biggest love).
My transplant career bled into an administrative role with the program – which I slowly began to hate the more I got into it. Administration, to be blunt, was garbage. While I have an undying love for my patients, healthcare administration just loses all sight of the patients they’re committed to serve. They really even lose sight of their front line workers – typically not having a clue what they actually deal with or what their day to day is like. I realize I’m speaking in generics but I’m specifically speaking about the administration from my previous job. It was flat out poisonous. That being said, my master’s in healthcare systems management seemed to then be useless, so why was I getting a doctorate in the same damn thing?
It really was like a lightbulb moment on that plane; I suddenly asked myself what the heck I was doing? What was I actually passionate about? And then it hit me like a bus, a big bus filled with reality and inspiration. MENTAL HEALTH yall! I’ve been so heartbroken about the very public suicides of several major celebrities over the past several months and yet, wasn’t doing anything about it. THIS now seemed like the ultimate solution so I began my research.
How to Find your Program
First, you need a heading where to go, like a ship with a port. I knew now what I wanted to do, but needed to learn how to channel it. I began researching mental health doctorate programs and found Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner + DNP programs, woo! Now that I had a specific program in mind, I began my school search. Unfortunately, the school I’ve been at for the past year in my current doctorate doesn’t offer this mental health degree – so I had to search for new schools and begin a new application process. I narrowed down the criteria that best suited me: online program, no limit on transfer credits, and accredited nursing school. I reviewed the application criteria and began my application process. Letters of recommendation are going to be essential and your best bets, besides any applicable test scores. This is why it’s crucial to never burn bridges with people who have the power to speak on your behalf: managers, peers or coworkers, etc. Now that I’ve completed all of those things, I’m now waiting for the news. It’s driving my anxiety bonkers but I’m praying this new program is what God has in store for me- I’ll keep you posted.
What is a DNP?
So many people have no clue what a DNP is or think it’s a PhD (not the same). A DNP or doctorate of nursing practice is a practice-focused doctorate degree. PhD programs are research-based doctorates. Think of DNP students as putting into practice the theoretical research done by PhD students. This works like a dream for nurses because nursing and medicine are focused on evidence-based practice: what works, what doesn’t work, why it doesn’t work, and how to fix it. DNP students complete a capstone project dissertation via clinicals and actual work in the field, then present the project, dissertation, and findings to an audience of faculty and students. This also gives them the ability to tell why or why not the project worked and what they would do differently. DNP degrees can also be a combined doctorate + nurse practitioner program, meaning you can sit for boards after you graduate to become a licensed nurse practitioner in your field OR they can be a pure doctorate without NP option. My previous major was a pure doctorate, my new mental health major will be both. I can hopefully sit for boards and start my own practice, wouldn’t that be incredible?
The Blush Collection may be my most favorite I’ve seen with Smitten scrubs. Almost everywhere I’ve worked I was required to wear navy scrubs, which I considered boring. These, however, are gorgeous. Can you see the rose gold details embedded within the design? Talk about beautiful details! The material is soft, stretchy, and not scratchy. I love the zippered bodice – makes the scrub top so much easier to get into and out of. By the end of a shift I’m literally cringing when I undress, the germs crawling all over me at that point are endless. The pants feature loops on the side, ideal for hanging a pen or shears from (love).
I hope this post answered a few your questions about my major, my reason behind switching, and a little more about me in general. Share with me your thoughts!