How did you choose the nursing profession and how did you land in your current role?
One of my earliest memories is solving math problems and teaching science concepts to imaginary students inside my home. Although I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, I had a special corner in my heart for the sick, wounded, and needy. With encouragement from my parents, I chose the nursing career path at 17 and have never regretted this decision.
After working for two years as a medical-surgical nurse, I wanted to expand my horizons. After looking into different options, I decided to become a family nurse practitioner (FNP) as I felt that as an FNP, I could have a more significant impact on the health of individuals of all stages of life. Over the next seven years, I practiced as an FNP and found it a very fulfilling career. My academic career started 11 years ago when I accepted an adjunct faculty position in a graduate nursing program. I enjoyed it so much that after a year, I started teaching full-time at the same institution. I currently teach in the graduate program at Baylor University while maintaining my clinical practice as an FNP.
What’s your typical day of work look like?
My schedule varies from day to day and week to week. As a member of several committees and task forces, I spend up to half of my day in meetings. I grade papers, write exam questions, work on my scholarship, develop course content, engage in email correspondence, and meet with students during the other half.
What is the favorite part of your job? What are some of your challenges?
The most favorite aspect of my job is to see students grow in their knowledge throughout the nursing program. I have the best of both worlds as, along with educating advanced practice nursing students, I also maintain a clinical practice and see patients for their healthcare needs. One challenge I face from time to time is achieving a work-life balance. I have learned that my work never ends and can take over my entire day, so I have developed strategies to ensure that I take breaks and spend meaningful time with my family.
What advice would you give to future nurses?
Nursing is a satisfying career, both professionally and financially. There are numerous career opportunities to choose from, including but not limited to bedside nursing, management, nursing informatics, forensics, and academia. Due to the growing demand in nursing, nurses are assured of job security and a stable income. Nursing school will be challenging but it leads to a rewarding career.
What are your hobbies? What is one surprising thing that others do not know about you?
I enjoy reading and have hundreds of books in my Kindle library. I also like to explore new places with my family. I am an ambivert or an extroverted introvert which means that I prefer to spend time at home and need my “alone” time but can be outgoing when the situation calls for it.
Viji George, MA, BSN, RN, RNC-NIC
Professional Development and Educational Chair