As the Director of Patient Safety at Children’s Health, Dr. Tracy B. Chamblee works to ensure children are safe during their in-patient stay. She earned her doctorate in health practice research from the University of Rochester.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Tracy B. Chamblee)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Tracy B. Chamblee)

Why did you pursue your chosen degrees? 

“I chose to become a nurse, then a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) (advanced practice nurse) because of my passion to make a difference in someone’s life no matter how big or small that difference is.”

What would you tell others who are considering pursuing a higher degree? 

“To stay the course no matter how challenging it may be. The end result will be worth it. With my children and at work, I always encourage others to pursue higher education.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced while pursuing your degree? 

“For me, the biggest challenge was sacrificing family time or time with my husband to go back to school. I think my experience is similar to others who choose to go back to school. It’s not easy.  It requires perseverance. Part of the decision-making involves identifying the right time in your life to go to school or back to school – this can be a challenge. It is important to consider the timing and available support in one’s life to ensure success.”

“My journey to higher education was a long one. I went to college after high school and graduated four years later with my Bachelor of Science in nursing, practiced as an RN for approximately six years, then went back to school to get a master’s degree as a CNS. I practiced as a CNS and at the same time started teaching in a school of nursing. A few years later, I went back to school again to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in nursing.  It took me six years to complete my Ph.D.. During those years, I got married and started my family. I was embroiled in raising four boys…. While I was in my doctoral program, I worked full-time, maintained a part-time clinical practice role and was enrolled as a full-time doctoral student. Every day my boys saw me getting them ready and off to school, go to work myself, come home, cook dinner, help with baths, help them with homework, then finally sit down to read student papers or other work and/or do my own school work. This was my life for many years. People often asked me – How do you do it? My response was always – if it’s important to you, you will find a way.”

What was the biggest reward for earning your degree(s)? 

“For me, the biggest reward is my ability to have a greater impact in someone’s life through my work.”

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