Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders News

August 2022 Leader Highlight

For August, we ask have invited Desi McCue DNP, MBA, BSN, RN, CENP, CEN to continue building on last months Leader Highlight that is focused on what it means to pursue a Doctoral level of eduction. Desi completed her DNP in 2022 and has presented to both the the Members as well at our Annual Conference. Desi offers her take on what the Doctorate of Nursing Practice means for her own career and some insight into what it takes to accomplish the DNP. As a Nurse Leader considering or engaged in an advanced education program, it is worth your time.

Desi, congratulations, again, on your achievements, they are exceptional. What is next for you in relation to leveraging your DNP work?  

"After obtaining my DNP, I am excited to use my newly acquired skills to appraise and apply evidence in practice. Even more so, I am excited to mentor and empower other nurses by utilizing quality evidence from various industries to solve new healthcare challenges.
One of the things I enjoyed most about my DNP program was the coursework around policy and politics. As nurse leaders, we must participate in professional advocacy. Our experiences and voices are needed to shape everything from public safety policy to healthcare reimbursement. I am excited to continue advocating for our communities’ health and workforces' well-being."

As 2022 Doctoral degree recipients, knowing that it took years of professional grade study and work, tell us briefly what the experience was like overall? 

"When I was accepted into the program in 2019, I had no way of knowing the unfathomable challenges I would face over the next three years, including leading through a pandemic, personal adversity, familial illness, and tragedies. Perhaps if I had known what I would face up front, I would have postponed my DNP. However, as strange as it sounds, knowing what I know now- I would have still enrolled and completed the degree. I would still lead my team during some of the most challenging times we had ever faced. Witnessing the grit of these nurses and nurse leaders who worked through fear, changing clinical standards, raw emotions, and isolation was astounding. We implemented practice standards that formerly would have taken months of deliberation. We embraced innovation that seemed impossible just months before. It was a blessing to be their colleague during these moments. To laugh and cry with them. I feel that furthering my knowledge of practice and professionalism made me a better leader during the pandemic. The resilience of those around me inspired me to persist through challenges."
How did you manage to fit the demands into your professional and personal lives? What do you consider the critical elements of taking on a challenge/endeavor like this? 

"I was blessed to have a fantastic family who encouraged and supported me throughout the process. I also had dedicated faculty who pushed and reassured me when I needed it most. With their support (and a color-coded calendar), I found the time for study and even some weekend shenanigans. Adopting a growth mindset is the first key to success when learning something new. Everyone who flourished in my program learned to embrace the grace of self-compassion in learning a new skill and challenging themselves in new ways. Fighting vulnerability when encountering a new challenge creates suffering and arms you against learning."

Desi, thank you for taking a moment to share candidly with your Peer Leaders, your dedication to the profession of Leadership is inspiring. Again, congratulations on this immense achievement!