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Former resident pursuing master’s degree in nursing

By JEMILA WOODSON

Special to the Independent

A former Port Orchard resident is current enrolled in a Murse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Joy Scott, 36, earned her bachelor’s degree in 2001 and is enrolled part-time in the program for a master’s degree.

Scott said she decided to pursue a master’s degree because she wanted to do more in her nursing career.

“I always knew I wanted to care for patients at an advanced level and be a nurse practitioner,” she said. “One of the many reasons I love nursing is that the field is so diverse, and you can go into any specialty of nursing. Our careers can go as far as we want them to, and we each control our own destinies.”

Scott said she chose to pursue the specialty program after working with an instructor in undergraduate school.

“She was so meticulous, organized, compassionate, and she just made caring for women exciting,” said Scott. “I enjoy working with women and love the beauty of birth. I don’t think that I can imagine myself doing anything other than caring for women and helping them bring life into this world.”

Scott, who works per diem as an ICU nurse, said the program is challenging and when you add work and family to the mix, it becomes stressful.

“Learning how to manage your stress with all of these qualities will help to bring balance and peace to your life. You will reap all of the rewards of success in the end,” she said.

Since being in nursing since 2006, she said she believes every nurse should possess critical thinking skills.

“Critical thinking is important in all aspects of nursing and medicine. It is what gives us the ability to practice safely and autonomously,” said Scott. “Patients trust us because we are compassionate and can advocate for them. Our critical thinking skills can make or break us.”

She said nurses need to quickly identify issues that can lead to critical outcomes.

“In advanced practice, these skills become the basis for everything we do with patients. It is how we assess, diagnose, and work with patients on the plan of care,” Scott said.

Returning to school was a tough decision for Scott.

For a healthy work-school-life balance, Scott said she had to develop a routine in every aspect of my life.

“I have to prioritize and become extremely organized. My children and I study together, and when they are finished with their homework, they help me study,” she said. “I try to become creative with my studying so that my children can be involved with what I am doing. It makes it fun and interesting.”

Scott, who is raising her young children, said the program is demanding and she makes a lot of sacrifices to be successful in this program.

“I had to change my way of thinking and trade in my very stable job to work toward my future, financial security, and stability for my children,” she said. “My children have been very supportive and understanding; they motivate me every day to do my very best.”

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