Graduate Study: Challenges and Strategies for Personal Success

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Graduate Study: Challenges and Strategies for Personal Success



October 24, 2011

Elwanda Whitaker


Why go out of my comfort zone and take up graduate school, knowing the hardship and sacrifices that goes with it? This paper will attempt to answer this question by laying out the reasons and benefits of pursuing graduate studies. It will explore my goals, the challenges and the strategies that I will implore to attain these goals. It will also touch some of the strengths, weaknesses, and the methods of improving my personal communications.

Graduate Study: Challenges and Strategies for Personal Success

According to Rovaris Sr. (2006),” Graduate school is fast becoming an entry-level requirement for many of the more desirable academic and other professional positions” (para 2). I noticed that health care facilities are hiring more entry level nurses who completed certain form of advanced studies. Nursing recruiters are constantly asking potential applicants if they have a masters degree. Is this becoming the norm?

Reasons for pursuing graduate school

Working at the health care setting for almost two decades made me feel complacent and sometimes work seems so tedious and routine. Then one day, I noticed, some of the younger and newly hired nurses had completed certain advanced degrees in nursing. I said, “Wow, I wanted to do that to.” But the other side of my brain is saying, “It has been twenty years since the last time you step inside an academic school, you have a full time job, three kids that needs constant guidance and you’re getting old. Are you sure you want to do this?” Listed below are the reasons I’m pursuing graduate school even with the dreaded thought of going back to school. • Career advancement (something to brag about)

• I enjoy learning
• Advance my career without significantly disrupting my work and family commitments. I found that University of Phoenix has this online learning system designed for busy professionals. Because I’m relatively good at computers, I think I can do this. • Better pay (now that is motivation)

• Today is the opportune time. According to Goldman (2009), president-elect Barack Obama has proposed massive effort to computerize health care by making health record standardized and electronic within five years (para 2). This is an opportunity to contribute something that would be helpful in the advancement of health care. I will be taking up Master in Nursing Informatics.

Long term goal

My goal is to complete my graduate studies in approximately two years from now, which is October 2013. On this field, I will be able to use my skills and abilities to develop software program geared toward the improvement of patient delivery system.

Short term goals

These lists of short term goals will assist me in achieving my ultimate goal. ➢ I will dedicate at least two hours on the weekdays and at least eight hours on the weekend for study. ➢ I will work with my learning team through constant communication (reading and commenting on team post, asking/discussing team projects, filling out learning team charter and coordinating team projects).

Steps in achieving my long term and short term goals

To achieve my long term and short term goals, I need to break it down into small definable steps. These steps include: 1. At the beginning of each class, I will print the course syllabus making sure to take note on reading materials, assignments, and their corresponding due dates. 2. I will also make a copy of my facilitator’s policies. I will make sure that I understand and strive to conform with his or her instructions. 3. I will purchase a yearly and a monthly calendar and I would plot the important dates like examination, assignment, participation, and presentation due dates....
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