Dawn Dorland, MSN, RN

A Q&A with Edith Anderson Membership Subsidy Recipient

Dawn Dorland

Dawn Dorland, MSN, RN, of the Lambda Rho at-Large Chapter, recently received the Edith Anderson Membership Subsidy. Find out what this award means to her and the path she’s taken to get to this point in her nursing career. 

What does this award mean to you and how do you plan to use it in your nursing career?

I am extremely grateful to receive the Edith Anderson Membership Subsidy. I completed my Master of Science in nursing education at Jacksonville University. Even though I am currently on medical leave from my nursing career, I remain engaged in current topics and continue to research education trends in academic settings. As a Sigma member, I am part of a group of nurses who strive to improve the quality of care for people all around the world.

How long have you been a Sigma member? Why did you join Sigma?

I have been a member of Sigma since 31 August 2019. I wanted to be a part of Sigma to remain current in nursing topics and be part of a group of nurses dedicated to advancing our profession. As a future educator, I hope to instill in my students a drive to continuously evolve their education through examples they see in myself. Sigma offers numerous beneficial resources that help me achieve my goals. I have not held a leadership position within the organization yet and hope to someday in the near future.

If you were to sum up your Sigma experience in one sentence, what would you say? 

Sigma allows me to be part of the world of advanced nursing and become a more than just a nurse, but a nurse who is part of something more than themselves.

How did you decide nursing was the right career path for you?

My journey into nursing is different than most people’s. Growing up I was not familiar with nursing. Most of my siblings did not finish high school and I was the only one who eventually went to college. On a whim I took the medical sciences entrance exam at my local technical college. While reviewing my test scores, the guidance counselor suggested I try the practical nursing program. I never thought I was smart enough to be a nurse, so I was excited at the possibility of someday having a real career. 

Shortly after becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN), I realized that science was my passion. I loved numbers and chemistry, and medications and the disease process were fascinating. Within six months I enrolled at a community college and started my path towards becoming a registered nurse (RN). As an RN I spent most of my time working in emergency departments, float pool assignments, and a few years as a supervisor. 

After 13 years as an RN, I returned to a local college to pursue my BSN. I applied for and was chosen as a student ambassador in 2016/2017. In the ambassador role, I met many hopeful nursing students and counseled them on how to make their dream a reality. Upon graduation I was awarded the Exceptional Leadership in Nursing award for my role in promoting the field of nursing to future students. I immediately started my journey into nursing education at Jacksonville University, and graduated with my master’s degree in 2019. 

Awards such as the Edith Anderson Membership Subsidy are available because of donors to the Sigma Foundation for Nursing. Donate today to help support current and future generations of nurses and nurse leaders at www.sigmanursing.org/donate.