Julie Senita, PhD, MSN, RN, is the Senior Program Director for Nursing and Allied Health at Kent State University, Ashtabula Campus. Dr. Senita reflects on her nursing career evolution and the importance of her role as an educator.
What an honor to reflect on the profession in celebration of Year of the Nurse!
I have been fortunate enough to develop my nursing career here in Northeast Ohio in the areas of critical care nursing, staff development, administration, clinical instruction, and nursing education. In my current role in education administration as Senior Program Director, Nursing & Allied Health at Kent State University, Ashtabula Campus, I have truly been afforded the opportunity to appreciate interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork. As the face of health care and the role of providers continually change, there has always been one constant, and that is the profound influence that nurses have on patient care excellence. They are true leaders who constantly keep the focus on health care where it needs to be, on the patient.
During the past 15 years, my career has centered on teaching future registered nurses. For nurses reading this, you know that becoming a nurse is no easy feat! As an educator, our responsibility is to provide a learning environment that meets each student where they are and guide them on their journey to becoming a nurse. I have learned that nursing students are some of the most resilient individuals who overcome obstacles and truly display a motivation to succeed. These qualities are foundational for the professional nurse. It is so rewarding to collaborate with students as they realize small successes each semester and then the ultimate success as they graduate from the nursing program.
In my early career, I would have never imagined that I would be a nurse educator and now couldn’t see myself in any other role. Why become a nurse educator? The answer is that teaching the next generation of nurses is one of the most important commitments a nurse can make. For me, the most rewarding moment is to enter the health care setting and see a former student engaging as a critically thinking nursing professional!