Doctor of Nursing Practice
“I love nursing but wanted to do something more.”
As a kid growing up in Rochester, Minn., Iris Young thought she wanted to be a doctor when she grew up.
The future she envisioned for herself changed when she had her daughter when she was 17. “I knew doctors had crazy lives and weren’t home much,” said Young. “I wanted to be around my family.”
A high school guidance counselor suggested she look into nursing, which she did and she never looked back. After Young received her bachelor’s degree in nursing, she began working as a medical-surgical care nurse at Region’s Hospital in St. Paul. One year later she moved to labor and delivery, where she’s been for five years.
Itching for a new challenge, with the idea of running her own clinic on her mind, Young began looking into obtaining her master’s degree.
“I love nursing but wanted to do something more,” said Young.
When she discovered the University of Minnesota School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, her curiosity was piqued. The more she learned about the program, the more she wanted to do it.
After understanding the program and what the school had to offer, Young decided to apply. It was the only school she wanted to attend.
“I felt like it was a good school,” said Young. “Having it as my education would carry me pretty far.”
Her years working as a labor and delivery nurse made selecting her specialty area easy; she opted for Adult Health/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.
The work, she said, was intense. “It certainly was a shock. It was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life by far,” said Young.
Unlike many of her peers, Young continued to work part-time as a nurse while completing her studies, putting in 12-hour night shifts at Regions.
The support she received at home coupled with the group support she received from other students in her specialty area helped her get through the program. “It really was a group effort,” said Young. “You can’t do this program yourself. Talk to people and use the resources.”
She appreciated the range of opportunities she was exposed to during her clinical experience at the Gynecologic Cancer Clinic at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and at Red Door clinic in Minneapolis, which specializes in sexual health testing and treatment.
After graduating in May 2013, she’s ready to look for new challenges. While she’s most comfortable practicing women’s health, she’s also interested in the opportunities for learning in adult primary care.
Whatever the setting, she said she knows her education at the University gave her the foundation to succeed.