I grew up in frontier Wyoming and realized at a young age that nursing would bring great diversity into my life.
I worked hard. I asked questions and looked for learning opportunities. In the beginning, I looked at nursing schools throughout the United States and chose Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing because in 1975 it was rated as one of the top schools of nursing in the US. The diploma program provided significantly more clinical hours than most schools of nursing, and I thrived being in a world-class facility with unusual learning opportunities. After graduation, I gained strength in my nursing skills in various hospital settings for four years, and then I was accepted into the University of Colorado's Family Nurse Practitioner program and have never looked back. I knew the value of education, so I kept going to school part-time and then compiled all of my undergraduate credits at the University of Wyoming and graduated with a BSN in 1990. I received a merit scholarship from Duke University and received my MSN in 1993. When traveling with the Fullbright team in Jarkarta, a student asked me why I did not have my doctorate. I did not have an answer for her so I returned to school and just graduated with my DNP from the University of Utah. Over the years I have worked in rural and urban settings from trauma care units to the medical clinic at South Pole station. So, how did I prepare? I worked hard, took courses as often as I could, and followed my dreams.
I most like the incredible diversity that the profession of nursing provides.
The biggest challenge in my career? Only nurses know what nurses do. Many individuals are misinformed about our profession. I kindly remind students that our job is to educate patients about our profession through high-quality, professional, comprehensive, gracious, and loving nursing care.
I would identify what type of nursing pulls them into the profession. I would encourage them to find a mentor who practices the type of nursing they are drawn to and volunteer to spend time in that profession. I would remind them that as a nurse, I learn something new every day and I have never been bored! The profession of nursing offers incredible diversity, and you just have to keep turning stones to find your niche.
My colleagues just honored me with an award for Outstanding Nursing Practice... after almost 40 years of caring for patients, I'm incredibly proud of this recognition!! See associated article: Leslie Rozier Honored in Utah.