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Janet (Jan)

There are several interpersonal and institutional barriers that I’ve experienced firsthand upon returning to Sage College for my postmasters as a nurse educator and a psychiatric nurse practitioner, after earning my Doctor of Nursing Practice at Stony Brook. I was met with skepticism and a negative demeanor from my former professors, one of whom referred to me condescendingly as “Miss DNP” while they were pursuing their own Doctor of Nursing Science degrees. While I respected their academic pursuits, this attitude felt dismissive and undermined my desire to contribute to the institution.
Despite my eagerness to teach a class, I was offered only clinical rotations. This was disheartening as I felt I had more to offer. I feared that these biases might affect my academic standing negatively, prompting me to take proactive measures. I approached the Dean, presenting my concerns about the curriculum and the potential for unfair grade manipulation.
I was determined to ensure fair treatment and maintain my academic integrity. After voicing my concerns, necessary corrections were made. I managed to graduate on time with the grades I rightfully earned. My journey into teaching was never about financial gain; it was always about the gratification of seeing my students progress and thrive in their careers.
Indeed, the journey to becoming an educator is fraught with challenges, some of which may seem insurmountable. I’ve heard remarks questioning the validity of my qualifications, questioning whether a postmaster’s degree in education is sufficient for teaching. Some even argue that a PhD is necessary to command respect in the academic field. I’ve encountered similar sentiments in job descriptions, such as one at the University of Connecticut, where the qualifications for a full-time professor explicitly require a PhD.