Everyone will, at some point, need medical care, and good medical care can go to great medical care with the help of a good nursing staff. Houstonian Joan Edwards, a representative of The Expert Institute, helps to create this great health care environment by educating the next generation of nurses.

Registered Nurse Joan Edwards (photo courtesy of Joan Edwards)

Registered Nurse Joan Edwards (photo courtesy of Joan Edwards)

What degree program did you study?

“All of my education is within the field of nursing. I initially obtained a diploma — three-year program — as a registered nurse just west of Chicago, Illinois. My baccalaureate in nursing was from the University of Illinois. My master’s in nursing is from the University of Washington in Seattle. My most recent degree is a PhD in nursing with an emphasis in global and community health.”

What does your current position entail?

“My current position is associate professor in the College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Texas. I course manage N3025 Women’s Health and Family Roles in the undergraduate nursing program. I also co-teach in the graduate nursing program in N6903.64 Global Women’s Health. I also fill the role of director [of the] Center for Global Nursing Scholarship for all three campuses of TWU — Houston, Dallas and Denton. As director, I oversee all nursing faculty and nursing student cultural immersion courses, collaborative activities, research and scholarship outside of the United States.”

Have you participated in any form of continuing education since beginning this position?

“As professional nurses, we are required to have continuing education. It is part of our license renewal process. However, as a professional nurse, my passion for my profession and my desire to stay current as health care constantly changes drives me to seek out continuing education opportunities. I recently attended a national conference in June at which I received 16 continuing education credits. We are required to have a total of 20 continuing education credits every other year when renewing licensure.”

Do you have any advice for people who would be interested in pursuing a similar career?

“There is nothing better than being in a profession where you can help your fellow human beings. Other benefits include that it’s in demand and it pays well. Initial entry should now be at the baccalaureate level and within a couple more decades, associate degree and diploma nursing programs will probably be phased out. Anyone interested in entering nursing should start at the baccalaureate level. If they already have an AD or diploma, they should enter a bridge program to obtain a baccalaureate. Most universities, including ours, have a bridge program, most of which are 100 percent online. The profession of nursing offers many varieties of career work I love my profession. I am proud to say that one of my sons has now gone into nursing.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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