The many changes in health care have caused those in nursing to contemplate an advanced degree. Rosemary Briars, who’s the co-program director for Chicago Children’s Diabetes Center at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, offers some great advice on how she was able to use her advanced degree in nursing to not only help further her career but also to help others in her community.

(Photo Courtesy of Rosemary Briars)

(Photo Courtesy of Rosemary Briars)

How did your education in nursing lead to your current position?
“I have a Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing as well as a Doctorate in Nursing (N.D.), and was initially hired as a clinical nurse specialist at La Rabida in 1991, with the intent to create a new nurse practitioner role on the team. My role continued to evolve, and in 2005 I expanded into leadership as the clinical program director, and again in 2009 as the co-program director. In my current role, I have applied my skills in administration, teaching and clinical practice.”

How has your education helped you achieve overall success in your field?
“The N.D. degree in clinical practice focused and prepared me in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate education, I learned how to think critically and use my analytical skills in patient care. My education helped me to develop advanced practice clinical skills and a know-how in how to critically evaluate research findings for accuracy and clinical relevance. As an N.D., I serve as a leader in the field through perceiving graduate nursing students, writing clinical publications and professional speaking engagements. With the combined skills of the inter-professional team at La Rabida, we provide education and clinical care for over 700 children with diabetes.”

What advice can you give others looking to go into this field?
“An advanced degree in nursing helps one to have a deeper understanding of the current health care setting. Working in any field of nursing today requires a high level of nursing skill and knowledge. You may start out with an Associate or Bachelor’s degree, but those who want to grow beyond the basics almost always wind up going back to school.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on

Watch & Listen LIVE