By Terea Giannetta
Faculty at Fresno State
Alumna of Sacramento State and Fresno State
My aunt was a traveling nurse when I was a child. She often visited my parent’s home sharing stories about different places and opportunities. She would talk about the various aspects of nursing and about caring for people.
I followed in my aunt’s footsteps with a desire to explore. I wanted to learn the profession, but also seek out different places and perspectives. In 1976, I received my bachelor’s degree in nursing from Sacramento State – a relatively urban environment with great hospitals. I then completed my Master’s in Nursing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from Fresno State, among the first graduates from this new program. Fresno offered an entirely different experience, with a county hospital that sent me into rural areas with often-limited resources and issues with access to care.
Through Brandman University, I am completing the Doctor of Nursing degree partially to teach, but primarily I wanted to be a better provider for my patients. The medical field is full of strong voices and I believe that this new practice based doctorate empowers me to speak up in decision making with an equal voice. Nursing and medicine need to be partners in helping change healthcare to make it more accessible to everyone.
Nurse practitioners have an incredible amount of knowledge to contribute to the care of the “whole patient,” in addition to treating diseases. In my specialty of pediatric hematology and oncology, nurses must especially know how to convey information to children and their families in a way that informs without fear. In nursing, the ability to communicate with compassion is a prerequisite.
In addition to my clinical practice, I teach future nurses at Fresno State. I want students to know that I will never ask them to do something that I do not do. I want them to know that I am still a practicing nurse and excited to provide care for patients. I celebrate with my Fresno State students, both undergraduate and graduate students, who pass their boards and are now practicing and serving in the surrounding communities.
Ultimately, I take great pride in knowing that I am part of a nursing school at Fresno State that is improving the health of the Central Valley and training our students to succeed in a rewarding career. The new program for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice that will be offered in the Fall of 2012, is another example of the dedication and excitement that is part of the nursing profession. A profession and career that is every bit as full of opportunity and exploration as the stories my aunt once told.