Student committed to improve community health

October 06, 2020

Scott family in front of Christmas decorations

Leonile Scott, MSN '06, realized the impact she could have on her community by earning her Post-Master’s Doctor in Nursing Practice when she participated in an outreach program delivering food to people in her own community. She knew there was a need, but never imagined the profound impact it would have on her. A DNP in leadership will continue to shape Scott’s work.

She says, “I am empowering and inspiring nurses while utilizing the electronic health record to streamline care at the source, and improve community outreach with resources that address community health issues.” Scott is currently a student in Quinnipiac’s Post-Master’s Doctor in Nursing Practice and is already making significant contributions to leadership. Scott’s future in nursing leadership stems from one outreach instance, however, nursing has always been part of her life.

Scott comes from a long line of nurses on her mother’s side and has followed in their footsteps. She grew up on St. Croix, earned her BSN from the University of the Virgin Islands in 2002 and her MSN in Forensic Nursing at Quinnipiac in 2006.

Scott remained in Connecticut and began her career as a nurse in a correctional facility. She later moved from a correctional nurse into administration where she worked as an informatics nurse.

Scott has since earned her postmaster’s certificate in informatics and served as an informatics nurse for twelve years across a couple different institutions. She describes this role as “putting the puzzle pieces together for providers and clinical staff to make changes toward improving patient care. I absolutely love that.”

"I cannot say enough about my professors at Quinnipiac. They pushed me when they knew I could do better and encouraged me to follow my instincts. They will forever be a part of my extended family," remarked Scott.

Over the years, she married and started a family. She faced job loss during the Great Recession of 2008 and more recently, a second job loss. With the support of her family, Scott stayed focused on her education and her nursing career.

After a few stressful months, Scott was offered a position as Hospital Administrative Director of Nursing and Informatics Training. She feels her status as a doctoral student contributed to the offer of this new position and is excited to apply what she has learned.

Scott continues to balance her career, school and family.

“My cohort leans on each other, collaborates, and cheers each other on,” said Scott.

She is committed to her community by addressing health issues through her new leadership role and is excited for the new opportunities in front of her. Above all, her commitment to her community is abundantly clear.

Q & A

Would you talk about the support you received from the professor(s) and how that has helped you during your program?

I have always had great support from my Quinnipiac professors. Even as a graduate student. I have always worked full time while going to school. At times juggling both can be a bit of a struggle and I am not ashamed to say this affected me as well. In grad school, I can remember a professor pulling me aside and lecturing me about sleep and self-care.

My professors in the DNP program have also been instrumental in helping me maintain my sanity. They proved to be understanding and were adamant that I take care of me first when I was diagnosed with COVID-19. They are great resources and a wealth of knowledge when I needed them.

I cannot say enough about my professors at Quinnipiac. They pushed me when they knew I could do better and encourage me to follow my instincts. They will forever be a part of my extended family.

Is there a class/experience that you found particularly helpful/interesting?

I love every class that I have taken in my DNP journey. Everything I have learned is a new experience for me, from learning about leadership styles, conflict resolution, creating a budget plan and writing an executive summary, to creating a fishbone diagram. I love it all!

How is the DNP program preparing you for your future work goals?

Everything I have learned in my DNP project I am putting to use in my current role. I am currently in a leadership role and meet with providers and nurses. I sit on nursing governance committees where I use my skills to help guide fellow nurses to make changes to improve nursing processes in our facility and to improve the patient experience.

Would you talk about that moment you decided that a leadership program was the right choice for you?

I always knew I wanted to attain a doctorate degree. My struggle was in what field of study. While I was not interested in conducting a research study, I was very much interested in implementing evidence-based research to improve the nursing process. I wanted to be able to make a change in nursing.

Initially, I thought maybe a position in community health, to assist patients with healthcare resources. But I was not satisfied with that train of thought, I wanted something bigger. I wanted to inspire and empower nurses to make changes that would benefit not only nursing, but overall patient care. Quinnipiac offered me that opportunity.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about pursing their Doctor in Nursing Practice?

Go for it! My experiences have been nothing but positive. Nothing worth fighting for is ever easy. This degree challenges you and pushes you to put your best foot forward. Just know, should you decide to, you have the support, knowledge, and experience of some of the most fantastic nursing professors behind you, and they will not let you fail.

The Quinnipiac School of Nursing has empowered Leonile to make positive changes in her life and the lives of others. The Post-Master's Doctor in Nursing Practice program is teaching her how to be a transformational leader in healthcare to continue her life's mission. Learn more about how Quinnipiac's DNP program can transform your nursing career.

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