some of my writings will overlap

In the spirit of I need to check in, be accountable, and continue writing, I am going to post my writing for my new course here in my blog. Yes, that’s right. I started a Master’s program on Monday. I am pursuing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree. I am super nervous and excited about this.
I am grateful that I started this blog and got a little more comfortable with my discomfort in writing things down for others to see. It is not an easy process for me (maybe not for other writers either!) to put my thoughts down on paper but writing this blog with such frequency has taught me that I can do it. I can write. I have been told I am a pretty good writer. I have learned that even if I think that my writing is bullshit, it seems others like it and find value in it.


I have also learned that starting is probably the hardest thing for me to do. That if I stay in my head too long, my doubts will try to take over. I need to remember that because my classes are going to require a lot of writing.

  1. Just put it down
  2. Editing is my friend
  3. I have people that will gladly help me edit and revise my writing
  4. Use my tools and resources copiously
  5. Trust myself
  6. Let people help me
  7. Delegate
  8. Trust

That is my plan for success as I learn to maneuver another item on my plate. Now I happily proclaim I am a psych nurse, a mother, a festival producer, a community organizer, and a Master’s student. #findingthejuicy #lifeisfull #lifeisabundant #usemyresources #trustmyself #trustmyfriends #trust

Foundations for Graduate Study

My Vision and Mission

Dawn Smith

I am Dawn Smith.  I am currently working as program nurse for a campus of adult foster care homes for the mentally ill.  I have raised eight children and run several community organizations.  I have worked for the health department in a pediatric clinic and as a public health nurse.  I completed my degree as a registered nurse at a local community college.  I went on to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It took an incredible amount of time, energy, and time management to manage multiple roles: student, mom, and nurse.  I was able to complete these goals by setting goals and creating a mission and vision for myself.  I learned that to complete any challenging task it is important to remember why I am doing what I am doing.  Several themes emerged while finding my vision and mission: I wanted to help people.  I specifically wanted to improve health outcomes of the low income and underserved.  I wanted to help create healthier communities by building healthier connections with us and with each other. I think that I will be able to get closer to my vision of creating change by following the visions, mission, and learning outcomes set forth by Walden University (2011, 2019)

Walden University is built on three values: quality, integrity, and student-centeredness (Vision, Mission, and Goals, 2011). I have found that by doing all of my activities with similar values working towards quality, integrity, and “patient”-centeredness, I have job satisfaction knowing that I am delivering a quality product that instills in me a sense of pride and living within my own integrity.

While researching various schools to continue my education, I wanted to be challenged but supported. I wanted a quality education that supported my vision of being a better nurse, person, communicator, and a person that creates change on a global level.  I feel I will be able to achieve my goals through Walden University because their learning outcomes are in alignment with my vision.  Learning outcome #3 is focused on finding and implementing strategies that will reduce disparity in healthcare (Master of Science in Nursing. 2018) and I have worked hard to serve the underserved.  I have been involved in facilitating Health Equity and Social Justice workshops and find that being able to help others understand the levels of health inequity is very satisfying.  When the new knowledge is taken back to workplaces and homes so there is less injustice and health disparity, small changes can cause a ripple effect.

 I also find the other learning outcomes of improving communication and using technology to advance and improve healthcare outcomes will be beneficial to me as a practitioner but also as a human. Communication is key to building connections (Robinson, Segal, & Smith, 2019).

Connections are important to me.  I have found personally that connections with other people improve health.   According to Dr. Emma Seppala (2014), being socially connected leads to a longer life, stronger immune system, reduced inflammation, and quicker healing from disease.  Walden encourages connections through networking, and networking creates connections that will benefit me personally and professionally (Wofford, 2018). I want to take networking with my peers and mentors and expand it.  By creating connections, I hope to help create change and I think Walden will be an excellent tool to help me achieve my goals.


Walden University. (2011) Vision, mission, and goals.  Retrieved September 23, 2019 from

Walden University. (2018) Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Learning outcomes.  Retrieved September 20, 2019, from

Robinson, L., Segal, J., & Smith, M. (2019, June 26). Effective Communication. Retrieved from

Seppala, E. (2017, June 27). Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection. Retrieved from

Wofford, P. (2018, May 24). 10 Networking Tips for Nurses Who Hate Networking. Retrieved from

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