Interviewer: When and why did you decide to become an Executive Nurse Leader?
Tami Taylor: Early in my career. I have always looked for ways to make processes and structures better for nurses and patients. I was that young nurse who always had an idea to change systems. I served on committees and was eager to learn everything I could learn to advance the profession of nursing.
Interviewer: What was your motivation behind your decision to earn a DNP-ENL degree?
Tami Taylor: Part of being a professional nurse is continual learning and education. I love learning. There is always something to learn and ways to grow in our profession, so naturally, I want to be educated at the highest level of my profession. This will help me to advance the practice of nursing.
Interviewer: Why did you choose to enroll in Baylor’s online DNP-ENL program? How did you know Baylor University was the right fit for you?
Tami Taylor: I attended another online DNP program and I had a year completed. I never felt like that program was a fit for me; I felt it as if I were just going through the classes and not learning in my classes. It is important to me that my degree means something. This is not simply a credential for me; this is about genuinely learning and making a difference. I made the decision to leave that program and search for a program that would teach me to advance the profession of nursing. I lost a year of time and money, and that was a difficult decision, but I feel that strongly about education being meaningful. I found the Baylor program in executive nurse leadership, reviewed the curriculum, spoke with the admissions staff, and determined Baylor was the fit for me. I have been incredibly happy with the Baylor DNP-ENL program.
Interviewer: How does your educational experience align with your expectations at the start of the program?
Tami Taylor: The program is challenging, and that is what I was looking for, a program to challenge me, and my thought processes about professional nursing practice. The faculty is outstanding and accessible. I could not ask for a better program for me.
Interviewer: Tell us about your experience with Baylor LHSON faculty. Which one stands out the most to you and why?
Tami Taylor: During the spring semester, we were in the height of COVID; the faculty understood where we are as nurse executives because they have been nurse executives. They understood our roles and the demands of what we are experiencing at work. They helped integrate our course work and our work to make the class meaningful. We had resource attainment and allocation that semester; what is more challenging than COVID on hospital resources and allocation than COVID? Dr. Bradley and Dr. Haxton held Zoom calls, and we were able to support, share, and learn from each other.
Interviewer: What was your experience with the ENL program curriculum and coursework? Did you find it to be relevant?
Tami Taylor: Every class has been relevant to my day-to-day role as a Chief Nursing Officer. I have been able to take what I have learned and apply it at work.
Interviewer: Tell us about your experience with the DNP Project. Did you find the experience to be valuable?
Tami Taylor: I am just beginning the DNP project portion of the program. My experience thus far, has been very positive. The project is relative to my interests and my role as a CNO.
Interviewer: Have you been able to integrate learnings from the program into your current job? If so, what some examples?
Tami Taylor: Yes, we are currently on our Magnet journey and I have more clarity of evidence-based practice. I have been able to take this knowledge and teach our nurses about EBP.
Interviewer: How has working with Christine, your dedicated support advisor, impacted your student experience?
Tami Taylor: Christine has been incredibly helpful to me. She is always available and responds quickly. She checks in several times each semester to ensure we are progressing well and asks if we need assistance. She is awesome!
Interviewer. How would you describe the quality of your classmates in your online DNP-ENL student cohort?
Tami Taylor: My cohort is fantastic! We have formed a bond. We have a cohort text group, and we can support each other, ask questions, and sometimes provide comedic relief. They are the best!
Interviewer: What are your career plans upon graduating with your DNP-ENL from Baylor?
Tami Taylor: I want to continue to be the best CNO I can be and help our nurses take great care of patients through evidence-based practice and knowledge. I want to also make a more significant impact through health care policy and professional organization leadership.
Interviewer: What advice do you have for someone considering the DNP-ENL program at Baylor?
Tami Taylor: DO IT! YOU CAN DO IT! Baylor is an excellent DNP program and I am thankful to have the opportunity to be a bear!