Interview with Kay Osinski, MS, RN, CCRN

Interview with Kay Osinski, MS, RN, CCRN

Kay Osinski's Career |  The Actual Work |  Job Information and Advice |  Trends |  Closing Remarks

Ms. Osinski is the Assistant Dean for the Baker University School of Nursing, Topeka, Kansas. She is also a legal nurse consultant and testifying nurse expert. She earned her MS in Medical Surgical Nursing, Clinical Nurse Specialist from Northern Illinois University and her BS in Nursing from Central Missouri State University. Highlights of Ms. Osinski's nursing career include:

  • 2003 - Who's Who Among Executive and Professional Women in Nursing and Healthcare
  • 2003 - Excellence in Writing Award (Eta kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, 2/03)
  • 2002 - Award for Teaching Excellence (graduating class, 12/02)
  • 2002 - Who's Who Among America's Teachers
  • 2001 - Award for Teaching Excellence (graduating class, 5/01 & 12/01)
  • 1995 - The Outstanding Faculty Award, Baker University School of Nursing
  • 1998 - International Who's Who of professionals


Kay Osinski's Career

What made you decide to take the path toward a career in nursing?

I worked as a volunteer in a hospital when I was in junior high school, then as a nurses' aid during my high school years. Those experiences allowed me to interact with elderly patients, which I really enjoyed. They also provided opportunities for me to observe the roles of various health care workers to determine if nursing would be the career of choice for me.

What would you consider your proudest accomplishments in the field? Have you had any major setbacks along the road?

One of my proudest accomplishments was earning my Masters degree in nursing and later my certification in critical care nursing. I am also an experienced legal nurse consultant and have established an independent practice. It has also been an honor to teach and mentor nursing students who have grown professionally in many different areas of nursing.

What are your personal and professional goals for the next five years?

I plan to stay in nursing education and continue my independent legal nurse consultant practice. It is important to me to maintain current in the field of nursing, which I will continue through reading nursing journals, attending seminars/workshops, as well as working approximately one 12-hour shift a month in the hospital.

You published a work entitled "Due Process Rights of Nursing Students in Cases of Misconduct" in the Journal of Nursing Education. This seems like a fantastic accomplishment. How was this received in the literary nursing community? What made you decide to cover the subject?

As a nursing administrator, I frequently deal with issues and policies pertaining to nursing students. The article was written to assist faculty in understanding students' rights in cases of misconduct and the importance of adhering to well-defined policies that ensure due process for all students.


The Actual Work

What is a typical day in the life of a nurse of your specialty?

As an Assistant Professor in nursing education, a typical day may involve classroom teaching, supervision of nursing students in the clinical settings, and committee meetings. As Assistant Dean, I also meet with faculty and students as needs and/or problems arise.

Who are some of the most important figures in the field of Nursing today?

I consider the presidents of two nursing organizations to be important leaders in nursing. Barbara Blakeney is the president of the American Nurses Association, and May Wykle is the president of Sigma Theta Tau, the national nursing honor society. Both organizations advocate for the profession of nursing and foster education, leadership and research.


Job Information & Advice

What are the hottest nursing specialties right now? Which specialties are declining in demand? Where do your specialties stand in regards to demand?

Due to the nursing shortage, all areas of nursing are currently in demand. As patient days in the hospital continue to decrease, there are increased opportunities for nurses to work in various positions in community settings.

Do you have any advice regarding how graduating students can land that first great job?

Because nurses are in great demand, most nursing graduates are able to secure employment either before or shortly following graduation. Many graduates are able to choose the areas in which they would like to work.

How is the job market right now? How do you think it will be in the next 5-10 years?

Nurses are currently in great demand, and the trend is expected to continue for at least the next ten years. This is a great time for students to complete their education and enter the field of nursing!


Education Information & Advice

What is right with Nursing education in America today?

Nursing education prepares graduates to work in multi-tasked environments where they learn to manage the care for complex patients; make critical clinical judgments; synthesize concepts from research to practice; perform technical skills competently; communicate therapeutically with patients, family and other healthcare providers; and uphold legal, moral and ethical standards of practice.

What factors should prospective students consider when choosing a Nursing program?

Students should visit a variety of nursing programs to determine which school best fits their needs. Issues to consider when choosing a nursing program include location; size; cost (including financial packages available); type of degree offered and length of time required to complete the degree; faculty-to-student ratio; mission/philosophy and the overall curriculum.

What advantages are there in attending workshops in addition to a standard college education?

Because healthcare and technology are continuously changing, it is important for nurses to regularly update their knowledge through attendance at workshops and seminars, reading nursing and research journals, or continuing with formal education to advance their degree.



What are some trends that you see in the field of Nursing that might help prospective students plan for the future?

Because the field of nursing continues to increase in complexity both in the hospital and community settings, nurses must be equipped with excellent communication and leadership skills, critical thinking abilities, and the ability to prioritize and delegate effectively.

What do you consider to be the three greatest challenges facing nursing professionals in the field today?

The greatest challenges facing nursing professionals today is the ability to keep abreast of technological changes as well as advances in research and evidence-based practice.

How has the popularity of the Internet affected your profession and specialty?

The Internet provides access to on-line college courses and continuing education for students and nurses. Nursing faculty use the Internet in the classroom, and nurses may refer patients to the internet for patient education.


Closing Remarks

You have received many awards and recognitions within a relatively short period of time, 1998-2003 (very impressive - at least from an outsider's perspective). Can you tell us a little more about those awards? What 'pep talk' or words of wisdom would you offer a prospective student to enable them to do their best and be as recognized as you are?

My full-time employment is Assistant Dean at Baker University School of Nursing. I have certification in Adult Critical-Care Nursing and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. I continue to work in the hospital setting approximately one 12-hour shift a month in intensive care or medical-surgical nursing. I also have a private legal nurse consultant practice, where I review medical records and testify regarding medical malpractice cases.

My advice to prospective students is to strive to do your best in science pre-requisite courses, especially anatomy and physiology, which will lay a strong foundation for future nursing courses.

Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to enter Nursing?

Nursing is a very rewarding profession, where nurses can find employment in a variety of settings; in the hospital setting, nurses may chose to work in the areas of medical-surgical nursing, critical care, the operating room, obstetrics, pediatrics, or psychiatric nursing. Positions outside the hospital include community health, hospice, doctor's offices and clinics. If nurses chose to pursue a master's degree, other careers are available such as nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists.

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