Melissa Moulton, BSN, RN

Melissa Moulton

Melissa Moulton, B.S.N., R.N.

Class of 2017


Baystate Medical Center

As the first year of the DNP program comes to an end, I am able to reflect back on who I was before starting this adventure and how a transformation has begun to take place. In contrast to before starting the program, I now struggle to write this message in any other format than APA. It pains me to say the word “I”. I can note a time when I used to relax at home and not question when my next paper was due or wonder if I was missing something. I often try to think about the exact moment when this all changed, and I can't seem to recollect that time. I can't seem to point out when it was that I became a "DNP student".  

While working full time during school, it has become evident that there are more problems and systems within healthcare that need to be focused on and researched than I had ever imagined. I have grown immensely in my ability to identify these problems and to plan for change. Working in emergency nursing while pursuing education on evidence-based practice, problem identification, project implementation, and technology use has opened my mind to the possibility of practice change. I never expected to enjoy my advanced research class and appreciate all of the work required to implement a practice change. Since starting the class, I have taken note of the great number of practice problems that I hope to be part of changing in the future.

Aside from the daily struggles and worries of being a DNP student, I have begun on my journey to being a competent and effective advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). As I learn more about the roles, responsibilities, and barriers to practice for APRNs, I become more intrigued by the struggle for full practice authority, which many other states now embrace, as well as the struggle to educate others on "why a DNP?" and "so, you'll be a doctor”? As I continue to grow, my "elevator speech" to answering these questions will become a true reflection of the APRN I will become. Until then, I will continue to embrace the world of APA format and the stressful nights of paper writing.