Brimming with practical ideas and useful resources, this book aims to prepare nurses at all levels to advance and attain their educational goals. Each chapter details how to prepare and stay motivated for the journey ahead, including how to stop contemplating the decision and move forward. The book addresses common barriers and fears about a return to school, such as how to handle multiple responsibilities, refresh writing skills, finance a college education, and deal with the fear of technology or being too old. Through real life examples from nurses who have faced the challenges of re-entering college, Advancing Your Nursing Degree: The Experienced Nurse's Guide to Returning to School, details the process of selecting a program, completing an application, and orienting to college life.In a friendly and personal voice, this book describes the current academic environment and the expectations facing students today. Included are checklists on what to look for when deciding on a school and program, how to identify gaps in computer skills, and what resources may help promote ultimate success. Each chapter builds on the previous one and contains resources and examples on preparing mentally for the rigors of school, getting family and other support systems onboard, balancing job responsibilities and schedules, sharpening academic and computer skills, setting up a study area that is conducive to success, and celebrating achievements along the way. The book also details ideas on how to finance a college education, including particular resources available to nurses. While written for nurses at all educational levels, each chapter includes specific information for graduate nurses.Key Features:Written by a nurse for nurses at all levels of education and experienceFocuses on thoughtful preparation, an often overlooked strategy for success when re-entering the academic environmentAddresses the fears frequently expressed by nurses when returning to schoolProvides practical ideas and real life examples from nursing students and facultyIncludes a checklist of items to consider when exploring program choicesPresents strategies and resources to fund nursing education.
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Debra A. Wolff, DNS, PCNP, RN, is president/chief executive officer of NURSES-Ready for the Next Step, a business launched in 2013 to help prepare nurses for success in the next step of their education and career. She also teaches online at Empire State College. During her 38-year career in nursing, she has been a lifelong learner. Dr. Wolff earned a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh; a master's degree and a certificate as a nurse practitioner in community health from Binghamton University, and a doctoral degree in nursing science from The Sage Colleges, where she was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Society. Her dissertation, Registered Nurses Return to College: Lessons Learned From Hindsight, is the basis for much of this book's content. Currently, she is an active member of the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders, American Nurses Association and New York, Capital District Nursing Research Alliance, Northeast New York Professional Nurses Association, and the Albany Chapter of the American Statistical Association. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Wolff was the project coordinator for the newly established Future of Nursing and New York State Action Coalition. In this capacity, she traveled throughout the state and interacted with nurses in all areas and at all levels of practice. She was the guest speaker at several nursing schools and professional organizations as well as the coauthor and data analyst for the New York State Nursing Schools and Faculty Report: 2010--2011. Before 2010, she was the project director for a cancer research project that enrolled 115 sites nationwide and collected data on over 4,500 patients receiving chemotherapy. She had the privilege of being the only nurse working with this interdisciplinary, multicultural team. She has published extensively in Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Annals of Oncology, American Journal of Managed Care, Academic Medicine, Journal of Rural Health, and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. In 2010, Dr. Wolff completed a program as a certified synchronous learning expert and, in recent years, has been an abstract, journal, and textbook reviewer as well as a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant reviewer.
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