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HCTCs Boothe earns Doctor of Nursing degree

Dr. Jenna BootheEver since she was a young teen-ager, Jenna Boothe wanted to teach nursing. She grew up in a family of caregivers, with parents and grandparents who provided the example of what it means to care unselfishly for others. They taught me values and ethics, principles to live by and ideals to make a difference in people s lives. I did not choose nursing to make money or have a flexible schedule; I chose nursing to make a difference in my community, she said.

And she did just that. She graduated from HCTC's nursing program in 1996, and she joined the faculty in 2006 to teach nursing.

Recently, Nursing Professor Jenna Boothe reached another milestone in her life when she received the Academic Excellence in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Western Kentucky University on April 11.

Dr. Boothe has been working on obtaining advanced degrees gradually since she graduated from HCTC s program. Completing my DNP seemed like the most logical step in advancing my knowledge in advanced nursing practice and to further enrich my teaching abilities. Also, the experience that I will gain as a DNP will enable me to work to improve patient outcomes and nursing practice in my community, she said.

Dr. Boothe plans to continue teaching at Hazard Community and Technical College. I believe that the experience of completing my DNP and the knowledge I have gained will enable me to be a more efficient educator and conscientious nurse, she said.

Being a student while also teaching has helped to remind me of the struggle that our students, especially the nontraditional students, have in juggling family and professional responsibilities with coursework. I believe I have developed more compassion for my students while modifying my teaching modalities to incorporate more evidence-based practice learning activities, she said.

Achieving her dream was not easy for Dr. Boothe; she and her family made many sacrifices. She spent endless evenings, late nights, weekends, and holidays working on coursework while missing family time and activities. I look forward to having free time again to do normal family things that we all take for granted, she said.

Despite the sacrifice, Dr. Boothe has enjoyed learning. In this program, I have learned about various aspects of healthcare that have to be considered when teaching patient care. The most enjoyable part of this program for me was developing and completing my research project. I was able to follow this process from beginning to completion while learning all the nuts and bolts involved in the research process. I hope to have my research project published in a nursing journal, she said.

Dr. Boothe chose Western Kentucky University for her degree because it was clinically based and provided the most flexibility with her work schedule. After getting to know my instructors and my advisor, I feel I am fortunate that I chose this program because they have been so welcoming and helpful as I progressed through the program. I could not have asked for a better faculty and advisor to assist me to succeed in completing my degree. I would like to specifically thank Dr. Eve Main and Dr. Laurie Branstetter for all of their assistance and encouragement throughout the program, she said.

The education Dr. Boothe has received continued when she earned a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University in 2003 and Masters of Science in Nursing, Leadership in Health Care Systems, Nursing Education from Regis University, Rueckert-Hartman School for Health Professionals, in 2006.

Dr. Boothe is thankful for HCTC nursing professors Donna Combs and Gwen Collins for being so supportive while she worked on her degree and colleague Lauren Bates for keeping her motivated while they worked on this together. She also appreciates her family support, help, and encouragement.

Dr. Boothe and her husband, Brent, have been married for 19 years. The couple has a 10 year-old daughter, Chezney.