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Strategies for Success - Personal Success for Graduate Study

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Personal Success for Graduate Study

The purpose of this paper is to convey how I plan to achieve both my personal and professional goals while pursuing my Master's degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Returning to college after the age of 40 is quite daunting. The first step to success is to know my strengths and weaknesses as related to personal communication. By recognizing these weaknesses, I will implement strategies that will improve communication with others. I will address why personally it is important to pursue my Master's degree and how I will mark the milestones of my short and long-term goals. I realize there will be challenges throughout my graduate studies that may discourage me, therefore it is imperative that I have strategies that I can implement to overcome these challenges.

Personal and Professional Goals

One personal goal is to develop effective time management skills. Equally important is managing stress to maintain both physical and psychological well-being throughout my graduate study. Professionally, my goal is to earn a Master's degree and obtain national certification. National certification will give me access to opportunities that would not be possible otherwise.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Communication

Communication involves both active listening and speaking. One strength I have relating to communication is my ability to see the other person's view point. This enables me to broaden my perspective regarding the topic of discussion. One of my weaknesses pertaining to communication is that I am not always a patient listener. At times, this weakness causes me to miss valuable knowledge and insight of my fellow students. Another weakness is failure to ask for clarification. There are times when I am unclear about what a member of the faculty is trying to convey and for fear of appearing clueless, I do not ask for clarification.

Three Strategies to Improve Communication

Active listening is the first step to improving communication among fellow students and faculty. Focus on what is being said and how it pertains to the topic before responding. Paraphrasing and repeating back ensures I have correctly understood their point of view. When I do not comprehend a concept, I can verbalize or email my question to the instructor for clarification. The third strategy is to become a skilled listener by learning and practicing the four stages of communication: sensation, interpretation, evaluation, and reaction (Carter, Bishop, & Kravitis, 2007).

Reason for Pursuing a Graduate Degree

After 10 years of deliberation, I decided to pursue my graduate degree so that I can become a nurse educator. Earning my Master's degree will allow me to become nationally certified and to advance within



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