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 Reflection of Master of Science in Nursing








Reflection Paper

Florence Nightingale articulated her views about how nurses should be educated, trained, and how care should be provided in late 1800’s. Today, the model still remains with different category of nursing organizations to ensure professional development of nurses around the globe. After working on a two year plan to obtain my Master of Science in Nursing, it comes the time to evaluate and reassess the program attended to identify if the goals and objectives are met. As a review of this long plan, I remember vividly the first day I attended my orientation spring 2013 track at Florida Southern College. I was not sure what to expect since I have done most of my academic studies in French back in Haiti and a small part little bit in the United States. I was in a new world of working adults with experience ranging from of 5 to 30 plus years of nursing experiences. I always thought that a Master’s program would be difficult due to the extensive writing required and major projects that would have to be done. Throughout this paper I will be summarizing the different courses taken at Florida Southern College during my Master of Science in Nursing Studies.

NUR 515 Advanced Pharmacology: In this class, the objective was to learn how to safely manage and prescribe therapeutic agents use in primary adult care settings. I have also built more knowledge on prior pharmacologic study of actions and effects of medications on the human system across the adult life span. Three major exams were given in this class that covered all the areas of pharmacology. In addition, presentations of different topics were presented by students with emphasis of the latest studies, which were very beneficial to the students because the actual power point presentations were shared on the portal where students could review the content of the subject presented. At the end of the semester, each student had to write an issue paper that based on a topic that was chosen about topic they chose at the beginning of the semester.

My topic was about Coumadin and its effect, which  has helped me achieve the objective of this course; learning how to safely manage and prescribe therapeutic agents use in primary adult care settings. This was achieved after researching on how and when to administer as well as the side effects for different people as I wrote my paper on Coumadin. Overall, Advanced Pharmacology class highlighted on synthesis of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics principles for the prevention and treatment of acute of chronic illnesses, and practice evidence-based outcomes, consensus guidelines and risk-management issues which is supposed to be the backbone of any nurse practitioner in any practice setting. After this unit, I can now safely administer therapeutic agents on patients without any adverse side effects. I understand when and how to monitor intolerable side effects and ensure that I change the prescription before it worsens the life of the patient. With knowledge in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, I understand how to prevent and treat chronic illnesses effectively managing any risks.   


NUR 520 Advanced Pathophysiology: The objectives of this course were for students to be able to describe the physiologic, etiologic, and pathogenesis aspects of the common health alterations seen in everyday practices. In this class, a series of quizzes and exams were given throughout the semester to assess the students’ knowledge of what was learned in class. This class was taught in a manner that helped students understand the disease process that affects each body system. As clinicians, understanding the disease process is vital to make accurate presumptive diagnosis without laboratory /diagnostic results. At the beginning of the semester, the class was divided in groups of three or four for a group project. I have had a great time researching the topic that was assigned to my group, an exercise that increased my knowledge in pathophysiology of diseases. Unfortunately, my project partner had decided after reviewing the power-point to add tons of information without my consent, something I realized while we were presenting. Nevertheless, this incident did not affect my learning on how to treat common health conditions as adult nurse practitioner. Even with the made alterations by my friend, I can now boldly say that I can easily describe the physiology, etiology, and pathogenesis aspects of the common physiological alterations in the lifespan of a person, describe the manifestations of certain altered health states, appreciate the surgical and medical treatment strategies for common illnesses, and appreciate how research findings are applied in certain pathophysiological disorders. From this, I have also garnered information applicable for nursing strategies, pharmacological regimen, and patient education, which are essential in delivering quality patient care.    

 NUR 512 Advance Practice Nurse Roles (APNR): Here, the objectives were for students to be familiar with the APN scope of practice, current laws and rules nationwide predominantly in the state of Florida. In this class, the Nurse-Physician laws were covered in detail so that students understand the strategies that will facilitate effective nurse-physician collaboration. I imagine that this process can be a very complex process that requires intentional knowledge sharing and joint responsibility for patients. To incorporate what was learned from the class, every student had the opportunity of presenting a subject based on a topic chosen during the first day in class. The discussions were vibrant and interesting throughout the term. During my time in APNR, I had the opportunity to conduct a thorough research on the Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP), which I presented in class with a conclusion that between 11,575 and 14, 688 students have enrolled in a DNP program throughout the nations from 2012-2013 with 1,858 to 2,443 graduated the same year. What I understood while attending this class was that collaboration is multidimensional. It does not imply supervision, nor does it imply a one-way or two-way information exchange. An effective professional collaboration relationship requires mutual respect. Negotiate from the start tasks that can be done individually and which must be worked on together, and what the expectations are for joint interactions. I also learned from the normal class learning as well as from the presentations of my friends the different laws and rules governing the APN scope of practice. It is easy to land in legal problems if a nurse is not aware of the laws governing her practice. With this course, I also understand role boundaries with the problems of role ambiguity resolved. I know the extent I can go in practice as an advanced practice registered nurses to avoid legal problems. I also understand in a better way the conceptualizations, leadership, role development, safety, quality, and other competencies required by an advanced practice registered nurse.    

NUR 535 Health Policies and Politics: The objective of this class was for students to be able to analyze the financing methods, access, availability strengths and weakness of the United States healthcare system. During my time in the class, the Affordable Care Act was about six months or less to be effective; the discussion were very heated and interested to know in a small group as my class how opinioned we can be when it comes to health. This class really taught me that clinician health care policies and issues can affect how I will serve my patients at different levels and many in different ways. Prior to attending this class, my focus was on patient safety goals. My time in this class helped me make it a point to stay on top of current healthcare concerns and legislative issues so that I can understand the issues and thus be a better advocate for my patients. From this course, I have learned the healthcare policy, organization of the healthcare delivery services, and healthcare finance. I understand my role as an advanced practice nurse in policy making process on issues that impact the health policy and ensure improved health care services. I also understand the organization of the finance system in healthcare organizations and how this affects the health of patients as well as the health care options patients have. It is clear that the healthcare costs should not be so high that the options of patients are limited.     

MAT 5010 Applied Statistical Analysis: At first, I was very reluctant about the statistics class. While attending the class, I realized the importance of statistics. It helped me understand and apply statistical terminology in research, use descriptive statistics to summarize data especially in my capstone which I had to read more than 15 articles before I wrote the first sentence. The knowledge of applied statistical analysis has helped me a great deal while I was doing an article critique for my research class. This knowledge has helped me achieve my objective of how to conduct research in the nursing field. At first, it was a struggle but I learned enough and will be able to identify inferential statistics to test for differences in measures, for significance of correlations, and for independence variables. I will not have similar difficulties when carrying out any research in the nursing field. This course is very important since nursing is a continuous learning process. A nurse should come up with effective treatment interventions that help solve the increasingly health conditions that are complicated and unable to be treated with the existing treatment methods. This course would thus help me be able to conduct research and analyze the data successfully thus impacting the nursing practice positively.  

NUR 522 Advanced Health Assessment: This course is one of the prerequisite courses that the Adult Geriatric Nursing students are required to take prior to starting any clinical course. The objective of this class was for students to utilize in depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the nursing process in conducting physical examinations and health assessments. Another objective was to be able to demonstrate the understanding of various methods of data collection that include age-appropriate history, physical examination and to allow students to experiment  hands on before stepping out to the real world rotation with nurse practitioners and physicians. For me, this class represented the cornerstone on how I look at the patients. During my health assessment class, I was able to apply the knowledge learned from the class room to a mannequin, which I found to be a great experience moment in my learning process. This course has been of great help to me as an advanced practice nurse. I understand how to generally relate with patients and ensure correct health assessments and physical examinations. The course is important in helping nurses know how to handle patients immediately they get into the nursing facility. I also know how to collect the required data when assessing patients. I understand the most important data to collect including one’s age, history of the presented illness, medications one is using, allergies, past medical history, family history, and one’s history. I also understand the body organs to assess depended on the suspected diagnosis in order to be sure of the diagnosis.        

NUR 525 Nursing Theory & Research: Formatted PICO question was one the first things I learned in this class. Even though it was a review from Bachelor of Science in Nursing, it was very difficult to come up with a well-constructed PICO question.  As a senior student, now I can testify that this course has prepared me for my capstone paper since I can quickly identify researchable problems within the clinical setting, critique theoretical models, and analyze practice outcomes. This class also integrates ethical and legal issues of nursing research. Information acquired in this class will assist me throughout my professional career, to explore philosophical perspectives and different aspects of nursing. Formulating a well-constructed PICO question is very important in aiding any research I decide to carry out in the nursing field. I have clearly defined population to include in the study identifying the problem to be resolved, the best intervention plan to take in the study, the comparison I would make with other treatment interventions to pick on the best, and expected outcome. This makes my research clearly guided and thus I would stay on focus therefore being easy to achieve the intended results of the research.  

NUR 603 Geriatric: Prerequisites for this class were as follows: NUR 515, NUR 520, and NUR 522. It was designed to examine selected clinical issues, health problems and health promotion strategies in older adults. Further, it was to explore older adults care systems, and comprehensive geriatric assessment, diagnoses of common geriatric syndromes and application of evidence-based practice to promote wellness, maximize function, and enhance self-care, mental health concerns, culturally appropriate approaches, and ethical issues. As a foreigner, I can be very sensitive to my culture, the understanding of one cultural element make a big difference especially in assessment of different treatment methods allowed by different cultures and how I can influence a patient from a certain culture to agree to a specific treatment process without disrespecting his culture.

The assessment stage assists me to understand the patient instead of judging his spiritual or cultural beliefs, but to include them in the patient’s care plan. This class also helps me to have a different view of the reality and to use my judgment and use the resource available to the patients in a best way possible. Although I have driven through some areas unnoticed, the community assessments and the windshield surveys showed to me how much information I have been missing. It also makes me realize that there are helpful programs available right in our backyard that provides assistance to others and works for a change. Assisting with maintenance and restoration while respecting the person wishes on how much assistance and effort they are willing to apply for the safety of themselves or their families is of great importance. For example, the homeless will be able to get information on shelter or appropriate programs to assist with stepping back to the work place. This class also emphasized on recognizing current concerns related to older adults medication use, with specific pharmacologic responses and recommended approaches. Given the variation context of ageing as a backdrop, this class focused  on some of the  most critical aspects of aging such as  healthy ageing and health care, ageing and the workforce to name a few. During my time in this class, I quickly realized the ageing of the world’s population is no longer a phenomenon restricted to developed nations but it is evident worldwide. Even though we are the second group that has to take this class, it is evident that this really tackled the growth of older population and how to manage their care outside the office/hospital settings.

NUR 6110 Advanced Practice Nurse I Acute Illness: In this practical experience, the student functioned in the role of advanced practice nurse in settings focused on care of the acutely ill client. Management of the healthcare needs of selected population is addressed incorporating the principles of prioritization, community collaboration and outcomes measurement. In class, case studies were solved and discussed together with development of the case and management. During my clinical hours, I was able to use the different learning experience that I received from the clinical settings and applied them as a floor nurse at the hospital to better serve my patients. The objectives of this course was for students to be able to design plan of care for diverse patients, incorporating evidence-based protocols to address the health needs of acutely ill clients, in a cost-effective manner, including appropriate evaluation strategies.

During my time in APN I, I completed my clinical hours in a clinic that cares primarily for creole speaking patients and it was very rewarding for me to be able to help those individuals whom I am  related to culturally. Even though I was able to communicate with the patients, teaching was very difficult due to lack of knowledge or lack of belief in the prescribed medicine. Even though patients were Limited English Proficiency; the clinician was able to fully practice following guidelines and Evidence-based Practice. This experience is very rewarding, I will encourage students to choose an outpatient clinic for their first clinical rotation because most preceptors will allow you more time with patients while seeing other patients. This course enabled me work in a practical experience, which is very important in preparing a nurse to fit in the practical field after graduation. It enabled me understand the challenges I should expect in the nursing field and how to deal with them.  

NUR 616 Advance Practice Nurse II Chronic Illnesses: The objective of this class was for students to engage in collaborative practice with a diverse workforce and be able to care for patients by developing plans that address the needs of the individual, population, organization utilizing research, current health policy and ethical perspectives. In this class, I completed part of my clinical hours in a clinic where I did my first clinical practice because the majority of the patients do not speak English or Limited English Proficiency. I feel like I was a great asset to the clinic during my time in translating, assessing, and gaining knowledge about my culture that I did not even know. In addition to the clinic, I worked with an alumnus of Florida Southern College in a Long Term Care facility where I had a chance to take care of the population of patients of my interest, which is geriatric. The component of this class was very tense, where student were given a series of hard exams and case studies which are very beneficial for national exam or patient care. This course has prepared me to work in a multicultural society in which I work with different colleagues and patients from different cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Incorporating the differences patients have in the treatment process helps in achieving positive results. This course helps me develop care plans that incorporate the needs of the patients. 

NUR 621 Advance Practice Nurse III Specialty Role: In this 6 credit hour class, I had to integrate the knowledge acquired during the program in different specialty settings. I had the privilege to work with a Nurse practitioner with 10 years of experience in pulmonary care. I was so impressed and challenged by different cases encountered during my clinical hours; I decided to spent more weeks with her than originally scheduled.  I was also fortunate to have some clinical hours with a physician who used to be a professor at University of Florida School of Medicine Infectious Disease Department, who took the time after each clinical experience to explain further the disease and the infectious process of each case, as well as antibiotic stewardship. The infectious diseases rotation was more fulfilling to me because I had the opportunity to see diverse cases such as HIV, osteomyelitis, pneumonia, and cellulitis and all other infectious diseases related to patients. The class component of APNIII was very interesting with all the mystery diagnosis presentation. The presentation could have been online discussion where all students can participate so the professor can emphasize more teaching on the topic presented.

My experience at Florida Southern College has been outstanding. The Master of Science in Nursing Program is a journey of learning, which embellishes my knowledge and makes me proud of my achievement. The curriculum is very well rounded and relevant to every day practice and focus on evidence-based practice. The faculties at Florida Southern are very knowledgeable in their respective field and available via different avenues.