Julie Balluck is the director of surgical services at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. In this position, she is responsible for pre-admission testing, day surgery, same-day admissions, 27 operating rooms, the sterile processing of the entire hospital and anesthesia services. In addition to the operational component of those departments, she is also responsible for ensuring high-quality outcomes, employee engagement and employee and patient satisfaction for her areas.
This highly responsible position would not be attainable without higher education. Balluck received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada and her Master’s of Nursing Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has co-authored two research study papers for the Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing.
What made you decide to pursue a master’s degree?
“I took a 10-year break between my bachelor’s and master’s. My boss was a big proponent for higher education and encouraged me. I wanted to advance my career and pursue a director’s position, which required having a Master’s degree.
Do you have any plans to pursue more education?
“I like a challenge. The next challenge in my life is to pursue a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP). The decorate degree focuses on leadership and management – two things that I love. I like change and helping people get through change. The differences between the DNP, a PhD and MD degrees are that PhDs are typically academic (research and teaching) and a MD is a medical doctor.”
What would you tell someone who is considering going back to school?
“Just do it now. There is a never a good time. See what your employer may offer [regarding tuition reimbursement] and family support [someone to watch the kids]. Even if you have lost your job (in exit employment packages), some of those packages offer career counseling and education benefits. Look into it and see what options are available to you. Just apply and do it. It will open many doors.”
Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com.