When Dr. Connie Sobon Sensor accepted her Ph.D. diploma this month, she took her next step in a decades-long nursing career that has included work in critical care, school nursing, transcultural and global health initiatives, and teaching.
Dr. Sensor's journey began when she discovered a passion for helping others during her undergraduate nursing studies.
"With on-the-job experience, I learned empathy, compassion, and clinical skills. Most of all, I learned that I had a heart and soul for nursing and making a difference for people and families at the most vulnerable times of their lives," she said.
When all of her children were in school, she decided to transition to school nursing from emergency medicine, where she had worked for over 25 years. During this time she also decided to pursue an advanced degree at Kean University, where she studied under the renowned transcultural nursing pioneer Dr. Madeline Leininger.
After obtaining her M.S.N. degree, Dr. Sensor began teaching undergraduate courses at Kean University, and again found her niche.
"Teaching nursing at a university level was a good fit for me," she said. "It was exciting when students came to class excited to talk about how the topics we discussed the previous week were put to use in their workplace."
Dr. Sensor learned about Seton Hall's then-new Ph.D. program through her membership in the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She enrolled in 2006 as part of Seton Hall's first Nursing Ph.D. cohort, describing the decision as "a dream come true."
Soon after beginning her studies at Seton Hall, Dr. Sensor had the opportunity to explore her transcultural nursing interests. She helped facilitate the start of a service leadership project in the Dominican Republic, and explored the health-related beliefs of migrant Dominicans in the Northeast United States in her dissertation.
She also had the opportunity to work with the United Nations. Her background as a certified transcultural nurse –advanced standing (CTN-A) made her uniquely qualified to do work on behalf of Sigma Theta Tau, which has special consultative status at the United Nations with the Economic and Social Council. As an organization with special consultative status, STTI has the opportunity to influence global health policies and decision-making on behalf of nursing.
"When I attend a briefing at the UN, every head in the room turns to hear my voice when I identify myself as a nurse. That is the power of nursing and the respect that our profession commands," she said.
Dr. Sensor hopes to continue researching, working, traveling, and improving global health as she takes her next steps in her nursing career.
About Seton Hall University College of Nursing
Seton Hall University College of Nursing offered the first baccalaureate nursing program in New Jersey in 1937 and is CCNE-accredited through June of 2019. The graduate program was established in 1975, the Ph.D. program in 2006 and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in 2009. U.S. News & World Report ranks Seton Hall University College of Nursing in the top 75 graduate nursing programs in the country. The College of Nursing's mission is to educate baccalaureate-prepared generalists and advanced practitioners of nursing who aspire to be innovators and leaders in the nursing profession.
Categories: Health and Medicine