Beginning her nursing career as a LPN, Diana Fleming, PhD, MSN, RN, is now a faculty member at Kent State University College of Nursing where she also serves as the RN-to-BSN Program Director. Dr. Fleming recalls her journey and serves as an example of the adage that in nursing learning is lifelong.
My love for caring for people started while I was a waitress in a senior retirement center during my high school years. It was then that I knew I wanted to become a nurse to care for and help people. The start of my nursing educational journey began when I attended Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing. I learned a great deal about caring for people but knew there was more to learn. I worked full-time night shift as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) for 10 years when I decided to go back to school.
My curiosity for “why I was doing what I was doing” is what pushed me to continue my pursuit of knowledge. I continued to work full-time night shift as an LPN while attending Kent State. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing through Kent State University (KSU) College of Nursing in 1996. I worked as a bedside for about 35 years, caring for and educating patients.
Then I discovered there was a dire need for nurse educators. It was at that time that I decided once again to return to school to pursue my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). I received my MSN from the University of Phoenix in 2005, and began my career as a nurse educator in 2007 with Kent State University College of Nursing.
I continued my education at Kent State University and received my Post Masters Certification as a Nurse Educator in 2010. That same year I began the pursuit of my PhD in Prevention Science through the College of Public Health at KSU. In May of 2020, I completed my PhD.
I have worked in a variety of settings to learn as much about nursing as I could – Rehabilitation, Medical Surgical, Stepdown, Home Care, Dialysis, Critical Care, Management, and now Education. Nursing has so much to offer and I still have much to learn.