YON 2020 Day 231: Debra K. Cifani, DNP, RN

Debra K. Cifani, DNP, RN, is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at Kent State University. Dr. Cifani shares her thoughts on what it means to her to be a nurse.

Absolutely Amazing: I get to go to work every day and make a difference. As an educator, at my alma mater, which is one of the best nursing schools in the United States, I get to share personal stories about my experiences at the bedside. As a Nursing Operations manager (NOM) at one of the best hospital systems in the United States, I get to exemplify what a good leader is, support my nursing staff at the bedside in emergency situations, console them after a heart wrenching circumstance or offer a loving pat on the back after a job well done.

Opportunity, Innovative and Challenging: Nursing is my second career. I returned to school post-divorce with three young daughters to raise. Our home was full of education, as my children studied, so did their Mom. Being a nurse allowed me to be home to raise my children into fine young women and being a nurse educator allowed me to be off when they were off and enhanced the quality of our family life. Nursing has allowed me to be a lifelong learner. After graduating with my BSN, I earned my MSN in the Adult NP track, and in 2010, I earned my DNP. Yes, innovating and forever challenging. Our profession is always changing and we, as nurses and nurse educators, need to change with the times. Being in the classroom is always exhilarating, seeing the new eager faces and finding new ways to make learning enjoyable and understandable. Being bedside during clinical sessions allows me to share knowledge, safe practice skills and to teach expression of compassion and love of our fellow humankind. Being in the hospital as a NOM keeps me current in practice protocols and allows me to bring current changes into the classroom to share with the students, while enjoying my strong wonderful fellow nursing leader colleagues.

Honor and gratitude: I remember to thank God every day for the wonderful blessing I have experienced by being a member of the nursing profession. This wonderful profession--where I get to help others in challenging circumstances, where I get to work with some of the most intelligent, caring, hardworking, and honorable people. I am grateful for the opportunity to still, after all these years, love to get up to go to work, where I get to smile numerous times a day, love my coworkers and my patients and most of all spread kindness and compassion throughout the day. I love that I get to teach what I love and most of all believe in what I teach. We are nurses, we are strong and we will meet our challenges straight away and head on!

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