Nurse's Watch: Conversations on contemporary nursing,
nursing education, leadership, spirituality and blogging.
~Start date February 2010~

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Synthesis and survival...

Whew... Sitting here this morning, being lazy, is amazing. It is not something that I do often. It has been nice to recuperate and rest from my first semester in post-graduate school. It's funny, someone asked, do you like it, another queried is it hard? Yes and yes. It is the most amazing experience.

There have been sleepless nights and fatigued days filled with too much junk food. The emotional high that only an A can produce and the gut wrenching feeling in the pit of the stomach of anything that is not an A. After all, in a PhD program nothing less than a B is passing, no C's are allowed. This has required me to try to organize myself even more.

I thrive on organization and am uncomfortable when I must run headlong into work and school without a plan. Thus, this first semester was a bit of a struggle. I had been out of school for a couple of years and allowed myself to sit and vegetate in front of the TV. I had the classes I taught organized, even new ones I had picked up, so there was time to relax. If I had only known what was to come, I would have read and studied ahead. So during this winter break, I am trying to consume text after text. Fall semester I felt I started behind and was trying to keep my head above water the whole time, this I do not want to repeat!

One of the goals in any graduate or PhD program is to prepare the student for research and writing.  The student is taught to read material and reflect upon it, add several other readings which substantiate the material or bring in alternate view points and then synthesize the information. Many who read this will think, 'duh', however for those embarking upon a journey into graduate and post graduate education this thought process may seem new. A lot depends on previous schooling. I was fortunate that my graduate school was pretty rigorous. Consequently, I was used to this. However, as you can see this takes time. Time to read, time to think, time to read more and then time to mull over all the information and formulate your own original thoughts about it. So my plan during break is to do a great deal of preliminary reading so I can begin to reflect upon it. Reflection is crucial. Once in graduate school you are no longer looking for 'right' answers so much as you are proposing original thoughts about current topics.

I am hoping to chronicle this journey. Goodness knows I have done a very poor job thus far. It is fascinating on so many levels. For those considering furthering your nursing education, I hope to offer insight and a crude map to assist you in your journey. In many ways the map is not unique. Yet it is my hope that these individual experiences can support you in your goal and enlighten you as you too prepare to further your education.

Postscript: I found this today. Wrote it and never posted as this spring semester consistently seemed to get the best of me.What was true then, is true now, so I'm posting with more to come later :-)