“Education holds the keys to creating our freedom to choose what we want to do and to give something back to our communities.”
With multiple diplomas framed on her wall, 2021 UNH Online graduate of the DNP program Melinda Linane believes in the value of education as the bellwether of a satisfying career. Born into a family of entrepreneurs, an Associates's Degree from Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island was the first step toward her initial intent of starting a business. Witnessing ICU nurses care for her mother after a heart attack and stroke, however, fired up a desire to “become an advocate for nurses.”
Melinda joined the Red Cross program as a Nursing Assistant and quickly discovered a new passion. After completing an ADN from Great Bay Community College, she continued her nursing path by earning a BSN and MSN from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. Following a graduate training program with Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, she accepted a full-time position as a new graduate nurse in the Endoscopy Unit where she was a charge nurse, preceptor for new employees, and gastrointestinal medicine trainer and educator. Recognizing Melinda’s energy and potential, North Shore Medical Center recruited her to manage their Endoscopy Unit at a Steward Family Hospital in the Boston area.
“My goal was to create an atmosphere of trust that would allow the nursing staff to open up and support each other. During those four years, I worked hard to boost confidence in their work, foster collaboration with others, and build our internal reputation as a smooth-working team. We received multiple awards for excellence and our successful model delivered to the bottom line of the hospital’s balance sheet. When I left the building for the last time, the staff lined up for a clap out with a bittersweet mix of smiles and tears. This was an emotional moment that underscored how much nurses appreciate being valued as caregivers and it validated my passion for advocacy.”
A darker note of Melinda’s career was a distressing experience of top-down bullying that made her daily work life increasingly difficult, eventually hamstringing her effectiveness. Enrolled in the UNH Online DNP program, she used this experience to create her scholarly project: Assisting Nurse Leaders to Identify and Manage Bullying When They are the Target. The process of crafting this research project became an integral component of her final training stage, helping her to process the experience and understand the broader effect of bullying on nursing colleagues.
I loved the convenience of the UNH Online DNP program, established a great rapport with my cohort, and felt fully supported by the nursing department. But the strain of a long commute and long hours coupled with the workplace bullying made me realize it was necessary to take a hiatus from my studies. The nursing faculty was compassionate and patient and the administrative staff helped me keep track of due dates and forms for my return. Their steady commitment made it possible for me to complete the DNP degree. That high level of commitment is the norm at UNH.”
During her sabbatical Linane lent a hand with her husband’s driving school by overseeing the computer system, building a website, managing the monthly state documentation, and helping to reorganize the business recovery from the pandemic shutdown.
Sifting through a lengthy list of professional interests, Melinda contemplates her future fully cognizant that passion and leadership will drive her next venture.
“I am a dreamer. I need a vision to create my daily work.”
Written by Gwendolyn Goguelet