Bringing Theory To Life

Guest Contributor – Erin C. Stratton, PhD, RN

When I was young, becoming a nurse was not something I had ever considered. By happy chance, during college while reading a friend’s Fundamentals of Nursing book, I came to the realization that being a nurse combined three of my favorite subjects: science, math, and people. I was fortunate to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge, skill, and confidence while working in the operating room and intensive care unit settings. However, it wasn’t until I entered my PhD program in 2013 that I realized I had a fourth love: nursing theory.

Jacqueline Fawcett

Fast forward to 2021. Since graduating from Oklahoma City University, I had been teaching both undergraduate and graduate nursing courses. I was now faced, like everyone else, with how to engage students in a pre-licensure evidence-based nursing course from a distance. As I tried to put myself in the students’ shoes, I began to think back to what snagged and maintained my attention during undergraduate courses, and ultimately contributed markedly to my professional and personal growth. Those experiences typically involved opportunities to meet a real-life inspirational content expert. So how was I going to make nursing theory come alive? A quick google search revealed an email address for my “dream” interviewee, Dr. Jacqueline Fawcett. I was delighted to receive her response agreeing to being interviewed for the purposes of informing my students about nursing theory.

Since our interview, I have reflected numerous times on not only the content of our interview, but also on the experience of interviewing Dr. Fawcett. As a nursologist and a member of one of the most revered disciplines, we have a responsibility to not only share nursing knowledge, but also our experiences. These experiences combined with our knowledge, allow for holistic growth of our discipline in a way that contributes to collective growth.

Thank you, Dr. Fawcett for being so gracious and open during our interview. Although my initial goal was to focus on nursing theory, current events provided a catalyst for rich conversation. I hope you find the interview to be just as stimulating.

About Erin Stratton

Dr. Erin Stratton began her nursing career after graduating with an ADN from Darton College in Albany, Georgia in 1998. She continued her education by earning a BSN and a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center followed by a PhD in Nursing from Oklahoma City University in 2016.

Dr. Stratton’s clinical nursing experience has been in the operating room, the adult intensive care unit, and hospital-based education. Her research interest continues to be the phenomenon of moral distress in the academic setting. She has teaching experience in a wide range of nursing courses and simulation. She currently teaches as a part-time lecturer of nursing at the University of Maine Augusta while pursuing her hobby and love of sailing with her husband and two dogs.

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