Home > Blog > May 2016 > Seattle Nurse Kristin Dawson Advances her Career at Pima Medical Institute

Seattle Nurse Kristin Dawson Advances her Career at Pima Medical Institute

Posted: May 11, 2016 by Elizabeth Baker

When Kristin Dawson was only 15, her mother became ill with breast cancer. For the next 10 years, she helped her mother fight the disease. Her mother eventually passed away when Kristin was 25.

It was hard to lose her mother, she said, and she decided to take a year off to reflect and recover. Her friends and relatives, who had watched her care for her mother, told her she was born to be a nurse—it was a career she should seriously consider.

She took their advice, and when she was 29, she graduated from the nursing program at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Wash. Oncology was her area of interest, but many people discouraged her from pursuing that area.

“So many people said don’t do oncology. It’s too close to home. But eventually I did a clinical rotation in an oncology unit, and my instructor said, ‘I think they’re wrong,’” Kristin recalled. “She told me I should do it.”

She decided to follow her gut and go into oncology nursing. It ended up being the best decision, she said.

“I am able to help other children who have parents with cancer, because I understand. I understand what it’s like to have a sick parent when you’re young. I have never felt like I took on too much. I love it,” she said.

Kristin works at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, where she’s worked as an assistant manager for four years. There are 130 nurses in the two units she helps oversee, where they treat patients with hematologic cancers. Kristin is responsible for hiring, evaluations, orientation, education and many other responsibilities. Prior to becoming assistant manager, she was a nurse at the same hospital for 17 years.

“Our patients are acutely ill and their conditions change rapidly,” she said. “I do this work because it humbles me—it keeps me living life because I realize we may not be here tomorrow. The patients are amazing and on their own path.”

Recently, she decided it was time to take her career to the next level and earn her bachelor degree in nursing. It’s something she was putting off, she admitted.

“It’s time. I need to do it and I strongly value education.”

She enrolled in Pima Medical Institute’s RN to BSN online degree program and is starting this month.

“I liked the curriculum that’s offered in this program,” she said. “I took the leap—it’s time.”

Pima Medical Institute’s RN to BSN online degree focuses on a number of curricular facets, including theories, concepts and principles important for the development of nursing leadership and management knowledge. Cultural learning is a large part of the program, as are clinical, fiscal, legal and political trends confronting healthcare and the nursing profession. Students who enroll must be a licensed, practicing registered nurse.

To learn more about the program, visit http://pmi.edu/Programs/Bachelors/Bachelor-of-Science-in-Nursing-RN-to-BSN

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