The University of Iowa College of Nursing: A Place to Grow and Innovate
I have people around me who truly believe in me. The University of Iowa is really a place to grow. To envision new possibilities in nursing leadership. We’re very involved in creating the future. The University of Iowa is a great place to work.
I wanted to live in a community that was family friendly. Somewhere where it would be easy to both be an academic,
pursue my research, be part of the University, but also raise a family. Some place that was sort of
easy to live, easy to maintain that work life balance. When I got here for my interview I was just absolutely
overwhelmed by the warmth of the faculty, the enthusiasm of the leadership, especially related to my research interests.
They were excited to meet me and had lots of ideas on how I could really grow as a researcher and sort of
make a home here. When my colleague approached me about transitioning
to academia, I was surprised since I had not envisioned academia until retirement. She was right. I do love the
program and I do love my current career trajectory. Transitioning from Orlando to Iowa was very smooth.
I really embraced the weather. I even went snow shoeing and had so much fun. I’ve continued to do it. I found it to be a fantastic surprise that the people
that I work with have become my friends. We support each other both at work and then have great friendships
outside of work. The University of Iowa is very collegial. I’ve never walked
into a collaborator’s office or a colleague’s office had them balk at the fact that I’m a nurse who’s
interested in doing research. People are always looking for people to work with who have similar ideas regardless
of the discipline that they’re in. “Big open ah-ah. There you go.” We have many opportunities for faculty to have a clinical
practice as well at The University of Iowa. I practice in a school-based clinic which is a free clinic for the
community. “Put your arms up like this and rotate back and forth. Good.” Having a faculty practice and being able to practice
one day a week has really been beneficial to my teaching. I worked in practice for a number of years in a variety
of roles and it was my good fortune when I transferred from being a practice intensive individual to the
educational setting. I had great mentors and had great support from the Center for Teaching where there
was a lot of information shared about pedagogy and how to do things that are fair, equitable, and
really meaningful for student learning. “Tuck the prongs gently into the inside of his nose.
Then loop that soft tubing over the tops of his ears.” “You are gonna be so good at this.” “I know, I was thinking that.” The students are really our pride and joy. They are all
high-performing, academically very gifted, and they’re just fun to be around. I think the best thing about The University of Iowa is
that all these people get together and they want to make the educational experience for the student as
remarkable as possible and turn the student into the best possible clinician they can be. The clinical
practitioners of the DNP go in and they give high-level care to patients that really need high-level care. The College of Nursing here is excellent. I was recruited
by other top colleges of nursing but the College of Nursing has a very strong nursing research office
and they have enabled me to connect with people in different disciplines. I think that The University of Iowa College of Nursing
has really changed the way that they’re thinking and invested in their junior faculty early, giving them internal
funding so that they can form the collaborations and do the pilot work that they need to do so that
they’re competitive for outside funding. We’re not just following in the footsteps of our
predecessors, we’re actively engaged in writing our future. The College of Nursing in one word is all about growth.
It’s about becoming the researcher, the teacher, the person that you have dreamed that you could be and
having the support to be able to do it.