Izee Mer Dizon, who just completed the M.S.N. in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program, has many post-graduation options lined up.
Class of 2020 graduate Izee Mer Dizon just completed the M.S.N. in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) program and currently works as a trauma nurse at RWJ Barnabas Health in New Brunswick, N.J. His newly acquired master's degree has put him in high demand, with multiple job offers and interviews lined up before he even graduates or takes his certification exams.
"I firmly believe my Seton Hall training helped me get a foot in the door when it comes to getting a job," said Izee. Having previously worked as a registered nurse in Foothill Acres Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Hillsborough Township, N.J., he also had experience working in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital while also doing a per diem job at the Visiting Nurses Association in Somerset, N.J.
He admits there will be a transition period but remains confident. "Adapting to my new role as a nurse practitioner can be challenging, but the knowledge and skills I gained in this program prepared me to be an effective provider and make a difference by implementing the highest patient care possible," said Izee.
Izee made a very positive impression on Joyce Maglione, Ph.D., APN, assistant professor and director of the AGPCNP Program. "Izee was an excellent nurse practitioner student in the program," she said. "He will be a welcome addition to the profession."
Seton Hall Beginnings
Izee currently lives in Bridgewater, N.J., but received his B.S.N. in the Philippines in 2012. When he began looking into graduate school, he attended Seton Hall's Graduate Open House in 2017 to find out more about the AGPCNP program. He recalls that the recruitment team was very helpful and accommodating in every respect. "I was working full-time job at that time and looking for an online program to manage my work as an R.N. while studying," he said. "This prestigious school was offering online courses, which would give me the freedom to balance my hospital work and school because I'm not tied down to a specific schedule like in a conventional classroom setting; that would have been challenging for me."
When asked why he chose this field of nursing, Izee admits, "I have always been a dreamer and quite ambitious, and one of my biggest desires was to be Nurse Practitioner (NP) and to do more for the community. My ultimate intention is to work within the community to provide quality and competent care to our adult and elderly population and help patients manage acute and chronic illnesses." Izee recognizes that this degree will "allow him to gain the experience and expertise needed to become a provider of health promotion, maintenance, and prevention of disease to individuals across the lifespan."
He also points out the important shift in how nurses are now redefining their roles and scope of practice. "With the declining availability of primary care physicians, many NPs see patients for their primary care needs," he explains. "An NP can provide an essential duty to serve the community and fill in the gap in the evolving needs of people in terms of healthcare services."
"I always thought that it's a great honor and a blessing to be part of the patient's healing, to change someone's life and enhance their perception of health. I believe that when the NP provides a holistic approach of care, patients will continue to trust the healthcare professionals and the healthcare system."
Both his Seton Hall professors and clinical instructors helped Izee establish his knowledge about nursing concepts. Because this program offers students a high amount of clinical hours, students can experience more practical knowledge in the healthcare field as future providers. While some students might be intimidated by additional clinical hours, Izee believes that to be an excellent NP, "we should take more time to practice, implement the best care possible, and effectively educate patients, their families, and society on measures to promote health and prevent future illnesses."
In addition, as an online student, Izee was able to apply his practical knowledge and present it to the class on the discussion board, with his professors are always there to guide the discussion, provide feedback and pose follow up questions. "I believe that constant support and encouragement to students by faculty and staff is a driving force in creating such brilliant minds."
"Seton Hall prides itself on dedicated nursing faculty members who are willing to go the extra mile to get the most out of your experience while you are in the M.S.N. program," he said.
While Izee is now focusing on studying for his board certification, he already has two job offers for the positions of Adult Nurse Practitioner from a healthcare provider in Somerville, N.J., as well as another in West Orange, N.J., where he had his clinicals. In addition, two other doctors are interested in interviewing Izee after he passes his board examination, one of which is from a past clinical practice site where Izee was assigned.
Per Izee, this program allowed him to become very comfortable with assessing and planning the care of patients he manages. "The AGPCNP program nourished my knowledge and skills to be an effective health provider in the future," he said. "The online program was challenging, but I know that Seton Hall does not merely produce capable Nurse Practitioners but exceptionally effective and confident ones."
Being a Nurse in the Time of COVID
Although he doesn't normally work in COVID-19 units at RWJ Barnabas Health, Izee does float in those areas when needed and supports these patients as much as he can, even if it is to call, text, or FaceTime their families to lessen their stress. "Worries and anxiety about COVID-19 and its impact can be overwhelming," he said. "When I took care of COVID-19 patients, I offered them someone to talk to if they experienced stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, and loneliness."
Unfortunately, during the peak of the pandemic, Izee was infected by this virus and only recently recovered. But even as an online student, he "felt the love and support of my family, colleagues, professor, and director of our M.S.N. program. I thank God that I recovered well, and with the great team and collaborations of multiple disciplines in the hospital, I was able to continue and provide the best evidence-based care to my patients," he said.
Izee admits that while the COVID-19 pandemic has made numerous changes to how we live our lives, nurses "continue to push our limits as we selflessly care for infected patients." He has even noticed a change in how the medical staff works together. "Doctors and nurses are collaborating more with the care of patients and are very supportive of each other, especially during this crisis," he said. "I think that as nurses, we are now recognized not only as front liners but also heroes."
Categories: Health and Medicine