Doctor of Nursing Practice
“My classmates were a huge motivator and support, knowing we are all going through the same thing and having them with me for three years was integral to making it through the program.”
After Jennifer Platt joined the Navy, she was stationed in San Diego on a pediatric unit where she worked with hematology and oncology patients. “In the Navy I discovered I love pediatrics and more importantly, I love nursing,” said Platt, who spent nine years in the Navy, six of them on active duty.
When she came off active duty, she said it was a good time for her to go back to school to pursue an advanced degree. “As an advanced practitioner I knew I could keep the essence of nursing and advance my scope of practice,” she said, assuming she’d get a master’s degree.
“I had never heard of the DNP degree at that point. I went on the University of Minnesota’s website and learned of the DNP program,” said Platt, who said that after reading about the trend toward the DNP degree it became apparent she should pursue that degree. “I chose the U of M because it seemed to be the most fully committed to this new degree, and also the U obviously has a rich history and a great reputation.”
The hybrid format of both online and face-to-face classes offered the flexibility she needed to raise her family and go to school. “My classmates were a huge motivator and support, knowing we are all going through the same thing and having them with me for three years was integral to making it through the program,” said Platt, who added that her advisor was a huge support and was encouraging.
“All the peds faculty at the University are very supportive and really inspirational,” said Platt. “They are all so accomplished and every one of them is an amazing role model.”
She also appreciated the clinical faculty for their support during her clinical experiences at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Dakota Pediatrics clinic and Children’s Hospital.
She encourages students in the program to be flexible, take advantage of the face-to-face time, ask questions, seek opportunities to be involved and engaged in the program, join professional organizations and go to meetings and conferences.
Now, as a pediatric nurse practitioner at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, she is working in pediatric neurosurgery with patients undergoing brain and spinal cord surgery. “I absolutely could not have gotten this position without my DNP degree,” said Platt. “They practice evidence-based neurosurgery there. In the DNP program we learn about changing the system, about bringing evidence to practice and that’s what they do.”