Advanced Nursing Degree Requirements In Dallas Improve Patient Care

Patrick Allgood is the managing nurse for fifth floor oncology at Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital in Dallas. Allgood says that advanced education is becoming essential to be effective in today’s nursing profession.

Patrick Allgood, managing nurse for fifth floor oncology, Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital (photo courtesy of Patrick Allgood)

Patrick Allgood, managing nurse for fifth floor oncology, Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital (photo courtesy of Patrick Allgood)

Where do you work and what is your title? 

“I am the nurse manager for fifth floor oncology at Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital. I am responsible for managing the clinical, operational and strategic activities of the unit. This is a 24-bed, acute care unit, providing around-the-clock inpatient care for cancer patients. We have a staff of about 50. I am responsible for managing the clinical performance of this staff.”

What kind of degree is required for this position? 

“It is my understanding that all applicants for nurse manager positions are now required to possess a master’s degree. I have a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In addition, I possess a master’s of nursing degree with a specialty of Health Care Systems Management — MSN-HCSM. It is a nursing degree with a business management emphasis.”

How has your education prepared you for this position?

“The business management focus of the MSN-HCSM has been beneficial in preparing me for issues related to human resource management, financial planning, program development, statistical analysis and strategic planning. All of these are necessary tools for the leaders of today’s dynamic and challenging health care environment.”

Do you have any advice for someone interested in pursuing a similar career?

“First, every indication is that advanced education is an absolute requirement for managing and leading nursing as we adjust to change when necessary. It is even more important that we prepare leaders. However, not to adjust to change, but to lead change. You get experience doing this in a program such as the one I completed at Loyola. If you want to be a manager or leader, you will need advanced education.

“Secondly, decide on your priorities. Pursue your passion, but be true to yourself. If you want to be a clinical leader, pursue certification. If you want to be a people or program leader, pursue your advanced education.”

Judy Serrano writes romantic thrillers at She graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a BA in English. She is also a freelance writer for She lives in Texas with her husband, four boys and five dogs.

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