Student Spotlight

Alumni Q & A: DNP graduate Dr. James Morgan: Nursing is my super power

James Morgan’s earliest aspirations were to be a superhero or a teacher.

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James Morgan, DNP, 2014

When he realized he couldn’t fly, he began exploring another heroic calling: medicine. Before beginning his education with the goal to attend medical school, Morgan took an EMT course and fell in love with the immediacy of emergency care and the ability to help patients when they need it most. He started working in the emergency room which led him to pursue becoming a registered nurse (RN).  To take his career further, Morgan sought an advanced degree at Brandman.  In 2014, Morgan graduated with his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).  Now Dr. Morgan manages a dual role as a nurse practitioner in his own practice as well as an educator, serving as the director of Immersion Planning & Simulation Development at Brandman’sMarybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions.

How did going back to school help you and your career?
Going back to school helped me to accomplish my goal of being a health care provider and being able to give back to others. Educating patients is a big part of the role and responsibility of a provider. By furthering my education, I was able to be an advanced practitioner and eventually come to work for Brandman – to fulfill my other desire to be an educator.

Who inspired you while attending Brandman?
The collective faculty and my classmates were inspirational to me.  I felt that the faculty was really rooting for us even though they maintain a high level of expectation.  My classmates encouraged each other, and I really enjoyed being a part of a cohort.  The nursing immersions are a great opportunity to come together with your cohort or specialty.

What advice would you give someone going back to school as an adult?
It is worth it! You are making a temporary sacrifice that will definitely last a lifetime.  Three years of sacrifice. You won’t be the best family member, spouse, or parent while you are studying to take care of another life but you make it through and it is worth it in the end.  

Did anything surprise you about Brandman University?
I was surprised by the multifaceted options and opportunities we had as students in the skills lab through the program. We had access to high-definition mannequins to simulate patients.  Also, I had never seen use of standardized patients - live actors who play patients during training - in my other programs.  I was surprised how open faculty was to input from students, and we were really treated as colleagues.  We are nurses first and foremost. The faculty has the same sense but were able to draw on their individual experiences.

What would you have done differently?
I don’t think I would have changed anything.  I would have liked to start working on my doctoral dissertation sooner rather than later.

What motivated you while going back to school?
The desire to become a provider and to advance my career was a big motivator for me.  Also, being able to support my family on a different level was a big part of it. 

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