Nursing PhD: Journey Through Scholarship

A Nursing vignette, presented as a part of National Nurses Week. 

Keith Weiner, MSN, RN, PhD Candidate at Molloy College, Adjunct Instructor at Molloy College, NYS HIMSS Board Member at Large, NYS HIMSS Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, New York Academy of Medicine Informatics Group Co-Chair, Metropolitan College of New York Advisory Board Member

My journey started like a lyric from Tom Petty - “couldn't help thinking that there was a little more to life somewhere else”.

I knew that academia had already propelled my career, but I was not certain if this was the answer to my burning question as to where I wanted to go. I was interested in not only a degree, but a transformative experience – to become the scholar I always wanted to be.

The Nursing PhD seemed to be part of the answer and I had to make some decisions. My colleagues spoke volumes about a school practically down the road from my house – Molloy College. At the interview I saw a poster advocating to “take a leap of faith”. That resonated because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Someone in the department quipped that one does not apply to a school because it is down the street. Truth be told, the geography made the experience possible. Other programs were too far and I felt that online education would not provide me the experience I sought. Low and behold, I was accepted to the highly reputable school down the street. I took a leap of faith and dove right in.

​Most in the class were already experts in their field. The faculty were scholar coaches helping us hone our skills and further develop knowledge in our area of interest. Eventually we would become masters of our craft. Our end goal was to find out the limit of knowledge in our area and make a meaningful contribution through scholarly research. We ask a question that has yet to be answered, explore it with research, and contribute to the body of knowledge.

The opportunities for growth have been seemingly boundless during the course of study. I have published, presented at numerous conferences, taught classes, participated in others’ research, lead and joined several committees, joined several boards (including the NYS chapter of HIMSS), and met great scholars along the way. These extracurricular experiences have shaped me as a scholar and more importantly gave me the means to make meaningful contributions toward my field. As I am on the cusp of the final defense of my work, I reflect back on my experience fondly. I will soon obtain my academic black belt. This journey will soon end and the next is about to begin.

For anyone with the drive to transform yourself academically and the passion to contribute to your field, consider the Nursing PhD program as your vehicle to move forward on your academic journey.

Join us in celebrating #Nurses4HIT and the value they bring to health IT during #NursesWeek May 6 - 12.