Quinnipiac University

Alumnus brings experienced insight to nursing program

May 06, 2022

Peter Longley

For Professor Peter Longley, DNP ’14, nursing is both a profession and a mission.

Longley’s extensive medical career began after he served in the U.S. Army and the Connecticut Army National Guard, leaving as a corporal and as a second lieutenant. During his stint in the U.S. Army, Longley served in Operation Desert Storm. He also repaired helicopters.

Longley decided to apply his GI Bill benefits toward nursing school. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he began work in the post-surgical floors of the surgical intensive care unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. After acting as an educator in the ICU, Longley was promoted to nurse manager.

The position’s demands and hours compounded by the responsibility of a family with two young children proved to be overwhelming. Longley pivoted professionally and started a window treatment and blind company.

While the venture was successful, Longley missed the medical field and decided to sell the business. After working vendor-side for an electronic bed flow provider, he returned to Yale, this time as a data coordinator.

“I wanted to understand data better. With data, you can get objective opinions and I wanted to understand that at a more nuanced level,” said Longley.

This led to a promotion to finance director, and he spent five years building business plans and working to bridge the medical and financial departments, he said.

During this time, Longley earned a doctorate in nursing practice from Quinnipiac. His learnings continue to resonate.

“My studies helped me realize how complex our healthcare system is. I also learned how to build relationships to be able to articulate your argument in the best light to help to find common ground between different perspectives,” he said.

Now a clinical assistant professor of nursing, Longley hopes to endow these and other lessons to the next generation of nurses.

“I try to teach students to not be stressed, but to remain focused. I want them to learn the concept of nursing and how to care of people among the larger aspects of industry,” he said. “As long as you stay focused, you can continue to make progress.”

At Quinnipiac, the privilege of teaching is enriched by networking opportunities with like-minded people interested in evolving the medical field on a wider scale, said Longley.

“The industry is becoming more complex at a hurried rate, which is not necessarily providing us with better outcomes,” he said. “I believe we need to move to a more holistic way of caring for people, and not be so data-driven that we forget to actually take care of patients or to be empathetic toward them.”

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