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DNP Student Jeff Shideman talks about Nursing


Why Nursing / Why DNP / Why UW / Plans / Uniqueness / DNP Surprises 

Why Nursing?

Seeing [nurses'] respect for the individual patient, the relationships [between nurse and patient] that resulted, and the power of teamwork drove me to become a nurse.

I was drawn to the nursing profession by its humanistic focus on the patient as a whole person and not simply as a disease or injury. Caring for patients as individuals and learning their unique stories is what impressed me most about the nurse-patient relationship. I saw nurses working in the emergency department and on the hospital floor taking the time to truly listen to their patients to ensure care plans were appropriate to personal circumstance. I also watched nurses in these and other settings coming together with their colleagues as a part of a health care team dedicated to high-quality patient care. Seeing that respect for the individual patient, the relationships that resulted, and the power of teamwork drove me to become a nurse.

Why DNP?

Why I chose to become a DNP/FNP? ...A motivation to be a part of longer-term patient-provider relationship...[and] a profession that requires life-long learning in an evolving health care system.

Returning to university to pursue the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is a continuation of the themes that drew me to nursing in the first place but with a motivation to be a part of longer-term patient-provider relationships. As a FNP, providing holistic and continuous care across a patient’s lifespan affords the opportunity to positively impact not only chronic disease outcomes but also their overall health and wellness. FNPs in primary care collaborate daily with patients in decisions about their care to reach health goals. Additionally, there is great challenge and responsibility in supporting patients over the long-term during periods of change, acute illness, and recovery to wellness during their lives. Such aspects of the profession, that also require life-long learning in an evolving health care system, are why I chose to become an FNP.

Why University of Wyoming?

Why I chose to attend UW? least three reasons!

  • Wyoming Resident

    As a resident of the state, the University of Wyoming (UW) seemed like an easy choice.

  • Good Experience with UW's BRAND BSN Program

    Prior to applying to the DNP program, I had already had a really good experience in UW’s BRAND BSN program. Specifically, I found that having practicum rotations at different facilities throughout Wyoming greatly benefited me as I saw a diversity of nursing practice. The rural health care setting often has resource limitations, can be remote from tertiary care, and may be underfunded compared to more urban areas. I think that gaining first-hand knowledge at facilities facing these uniquely rural obstacles better prepared me to be a nurse in Wyoming.

  • Desire to gain familiarity with Wyoming's healthcare system

    With the BRAND program in mind, I knew that I would have similar in-state practicum opportunities while completing the DNP program. Applying to UW again for graduate school, I wanted to continue to gain familiarity with Wyoming’s health care system, develop local professional relationships, and precept with NPs knowledgeable about our state’s practice environment.

What do you hope to do with your nursing and with your DNP degree when you graduate?

Meeting the demand for greater access to high-quality rural primary care in my Wyoming community is the purpose I intend to pursue as a DNP-prepared FNP. 

A documented health care provider shortage together with an increasing prevalence of chronic disease are combining to reduce primary care access and adversely impact overall health for rural communities. Meeting the demand for greater access to high-quality rural primary care in my Wyoming community is the purpose I intend to pursue as a DNP-prepared FNP. I have seen first-hand how my preceptors deliver comprehensive and innovative primary care that is targeted toward wellness promotion and illness prevention. While not the easy path, working with and supporting patients in their efforts to make lasting lifestyle changes can have powerful effects on their health. Becoming a primary care provider capable of that type of care is where I want to go with my degree.

How do you see your differences leading to a unique nursing practice/career?

...Previous experiences have cemented the importance of strong teamwork for me and will be a part of my future nursing practice. Health care is a team sport and no single individual, no matter their training, can do it all alone.

  • Paramedic

    Prior to becoming a registered nurse (RN), I worked as a paramedic on both ground and air ambulances. While not an unheard-of transition from the prehospital arena to a career as an RN, I think that previous experience will strongly influence my unique nursing practice. Paramedics, much like nurses, rely on teamwork to successfully care for patients. As a paramedic I was dependent on my ambulance partners to provide critical care when called to respond. Crew resource management was our guiding team-oriented philosophy. The concept of crew resource management entails strong and open interpersonal communication, shared decision-making, and decisive leadership when needed. Often, emergency responses would place us hours from the nearest hospital or additional resources. Being able to work under those conditions as a cohesive team and lean on each other was essential for successful patient care. I recall instances where my partner recognized subtle changes in a patient’s condition or a scene safety issue occurring around us that I had not immediately perceived. Clear and confident communication by my partners, voicing those potential threats, averted bad outcomes.

  • Skilled Teammates

    I have also been fortunate to work with skilled teammates who had an ability to anticipate treatment and equipment needs well before circumstances required or a situation got worse. Thinking ahead allowed us to work together to formulate the best care plan for the patient.

Those types of previous experiences have cemented the importance of strong teamwork for me and will be a part of my future nursing practice. Health care is a team sport and no single individual, no matter their training, can do it all alone.

What surprised you the most about the DNP program?

While the UW’s DNP program has been transparent with the expectations of its curriculum, it has also had several very pleasant surprises thus far.

  • Faculty

    Most notably, the support and involvement of the faculty has been excellent. Not only have faculty been highly engaged in the day-to-day coursework of the individual classes but many have also made extra efforts in other areas. Specifically, faculty have worked to establish relationships with clinical sites throughout the state and beyond to secure placement for our rotations. It has been great to have support in this aspect of the program where many other DNP programs do not. The time required to find a clinical site, locate a willing preceptor, and complete any necessary paperwork can be significant. Taking most of that burden off students in our program allows us to focus on learning and is hugely appreciated.

  • Adjunct Instructors
    Another surprise of the UW DNP program has been the first-rate adjunct instructors brought in to teach a variety of on-campus workshops. Recently, we had local mental health clinicians instruct on pediatric psychiatric disorders and current evidence-based treatment in primary care. Hearing the real-world, practical experiences of these clinicians in treating children and adolescents in our future practice setting was extremely valuable.

  • Innovative Primary Care Practice Models
    Last, our upcoming summer clinical rotation will take us to an outstate clinic that is a healthcare leader and successfully implementing an innovative primary care practice model. Our cohort will travel to different clinic and health centers across the country to view first-hand how these other health systems have successfully dealt with the challenges of delivering holistic primary care. I was not expecting this type of rotation and think it will provide a valuable and diverse perspective on how effective alternative primary care models can be. Going into my last year of the program, I anticipate that there will continue to be some surprises but that they will ultimately benefit my future practice.

Page posted 10/5/2018


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