The Humanitarian Side of the DSN

Doing a doctoral degree is ambitious, but you might feel like the idea has been brewing for a while, and it´s persistence has lead you to think more seriously about pursuing this avenue. We don´t doubt your abilities. We want to support you as much as we can on your journey forwards. Sometimes these important decisions can take their toll, but when we read, see or hear about someone who is on the path we would love to be on, it helps us uncover our true motives and passionate interests. Here are some stories about nurses who´ve completed a DSN.

Ellen Buckner, RN, DSN

Shortly after completing a BSN at University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1975, Ellen Buckner volunteered to serve as the camp nurse for the camp at which she had been on staff year before.

The work became part of her formative experience as a nurse. For many years, Ellen found a way, to continue to volunteer as a camp nurse every summer, and frequently took nursing students with her for a clinical experience.

Ellen has an A.B. in Religion from Duke University and an M.S. in Psychology from UAB. In 1987, she completed the Doctor of Science in Nursing (DSN), and for several years now, Ellen has taught nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she completed her DSN.

During that time, Ellen also pursued independent studies and electives in basic and advanced (special populations) camp nursing. In 1995, she received the President's Excellence Award in teaching from UAB.

Ellen's students have said camp nursing was one of the most influential experiences of their nursing curriculum. Ellen has conducted research studies in numerous areas - including camp nursing - and currently coordinates the undergraduate disciplinary Honors Program in Nursing at UAB. Association of Camp Nurses (ACN) members have also benefited from her work. She presented at Camp ASCCA's 1998 Camp Nurse Workshop, ACN's International Camp Health Conference in 1999, was a participant in the development of ACN's Hallmarks of a Healthy Camp Community, and has been a contributing author to CompassPoint. Her board responsibility (and passion) is to develop the research arm of the association. Ellen´s plans include support and encouragement of studies in all areas, development of a network of people with interest in camp nursing research, and expansion of ACN's publications specific to research.

Linda D. Norman

Linda Norman is a nationally recognized leader in nursing and the health profession. She was named dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in July 2013. Prior to that, she served in a variety of capacities at the school for more than 22 years.

During her tenure, she led innovative curriculum transformations, introduced several new academic programs and helped VUSN rise to become one of the top graduate nursing programs in the country. In 2012, Linda was named the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing.

Linda started her career as a staff nurse on a neurosurgical unit in Virginia and expanded her role in nursing after graduate school to care of the chronically ill in Southwest Virginia.

She found herself drawn to nursing education as a way to make a profound difference on the profession she really loves. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Virginia, where she received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2014. She and earned her DSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Statements of Excellence for the DSN Degree, Doctor of Nursing Science

Sample of My Work for the DSN Degree: Doctor of Science in Nursing

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Lynn Parsons, RN, DSN, NEA-BC

Lynn Parsons has 30 years of nursing experience. She´s been in nurse manager roles in both hospital and academic settings.

Lynn graduated from the University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham with a doctor of science in nursing (DSN) degree with a focus on nursing administration and health policy.

Her Master's degree focus was nursing service administration, and she holds certification as a nurse executive through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Lynn has multiple juried platform presentations and refereed publications on the topic of nurse delegation and decision-making.

Lynn was nurse manager of an orthopaedic trauma and surgical unit for a decade and has been a NAON member since 1982. Her doctoral dissertation and program of research focuses on nurse delegation in clinical practice. Currently, Dr. Parsons is a professor and department chair in Nursing at Morehead State University.

These spectacular nurses probably felt drawn by others before them. And they chose to become the future doctors of nursing.

Sample 1st Paragraph for the Doctoral Degree in Nursing, Korean Applicant

I moved to the USA eight years ago from my native Korea. I came here with the dream of becoming a nurse and this is what I have done, although it has not been easy, since I spoke very little English when I came to America. But I am a very hard working woman and now, after studying in the university and using my English professionally for several years, I have come to feel most comfortable not only as a nurse but also as an English speaker.  Within a year or so of my arrival, I was studying towards my BSN at the University of XXXX and I finished in less than 2 years, in May of 2009. My extensive volunteer work has also gone a long way to improve my communication skills in English.

All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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