Dominic Kimatu, B.S., R.N.
Class of 2017
Medical Resources Home Health Corp.
Going into the first year in the Elms College DNP Program was challenging yet very rewarding. It was a wakeup call to leave my comfort zone, professionally and personally, and to explore my full potential. The most significant course so far was the DNP I Immersion which challenged my thinking and really enhanced thoughts formulation. I understood the scope, standards, and responsibilities of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), and the higher level of thinking and writing that elevates one into a professional role.
I remember meeting with my faculty advisor in the summer of 2014 and the most memorable words were “It’s going to change your thinking…” Those words resonate and it’s an ongoing change process. Retrospectively, I was writing and thinking at an undergraduate level, but through this program I have been taught, challenged, and learned to write at a professional level. It creates a level of responsibility and accountability when critically formulating thoughts and writing information that meets professional standards which has the potential of impacting healthcare.
As a “real nurse” in a DNP Program, I have been exposed to lots of knowledge and information that I previously assumed was “the norm.” I have learned the intricacies of healthcare, barriers, and the role an APRN brings into practice. I have started questioning practice and learned the “status quo” is not the basis for practice, rather evidence based practice (EBP) is at the merit of my daily practice. I have started viewing complicated patient workloads as chances for me to contribute and collaboratively seek solutions rather than divert the cases. I have started viewing healthcare as a field that can highly benefit from the role of an APRN in areas of access, quality, and safe healthcare for vulnerable populations. My goal has been to enrich healthcare with ongoing professional growth and self-development.
Working as a visiting nurse in a community setting and utilizing the knowledge has been a rewarding experience. It is encouraging to be involved in interprofessional meetings and case conferences, with appreciation for individual and collaborative participation. I have learned how to be a better problem solver and critical thinker when problems arise, bringing into practice the “missing piece.” I have also learned to be an early adopter to change, understanding the process is hard. We recently had a change in our information and technology department and most nurses and staff members complained of the software changes. I viewed the changes as processes to elevate healthcare quality and safety, while other nurses viewed the changes as “Time consuming, increase in workload…” I participated in working with my supervisors and quality assurance nurse to incorporate changes and missing clinical tools that previous software had but were omitted in the new software. Eventually multiple software updates have been provided which cover areas of concern. I was able to navigate the change process and understand the system life development cycle, and the inevitable adaptation which has now become daily practice. The DNP program has been a rewarding change process.