Posted on Aug 10, 2010

Blazing a Path of Excellence: Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Seeks to Influence Evidence-Based Practice Through DNP Program

Blazing a Path of Excellence: Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Seeks to Influence Evidence-Based Practice Through DNP Program


After graduating from USF College of Nursing’s Masters Program with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia, LaSonya Malbrough had some major decisions to make. With all of the opportunities available to graduates in today’s marketplace, how would she determine the next steps in her life? For LaSonya, the choice was to enter the USF College of Nursing Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program. For her, making the decision to pursue the DNP was an easy one.

“It is not every day that you are given the opportunity to do something that you never even considered or dreamed. Considering that I am the first college graduate in my family – finishing undergraduate and master’s level education is something to be very proud of. I knew I had to complete the terminal degree–the question I began to ask myself was ‘why would you not do it?’” LaSonya said. “Passing up such an incredible opportunity just would not be wise! I hope to inspire others in my family and community to follow their dreams as well. If only one person goes to college as a result of my influence – I would be ecstatic.”

LaSonya is currently employed part-time with Florida Gulf to Bay Anesthesiology, P.A. Working for such a large anesthesia group provides her the opportunity to work in a variety of settings throughout the community, both in hospital and in outpatient settings. In addition, the position affords her the flexibility to work part-time while pursing her doctoral degree at USF. LaSonya is a recipient of the University Graduate Fellowship and the Nurse Traineeship Award. Receipt of these funds was one of the key factors in choosing USF to pursue the DNP. If she had not received funding, she would not have been able to commit to full-time enrollment in the program.

“The importance of having scholarships and fellowships for potential students is an invaluable recruiting tool for the College,” LaSonya said.

After graduation, LaSonya hopes to study the effectiveness of pain management in acute care and outpatient settings, especially as it relates to underserved/minority populations. She plans to seek dual employment in a hospital setting and as a part-time university faculty member. This will “allow me to maximize my growth and development as a doctorally prepared practitioner. To my core, I am a patient advocate in every respect.” With a passion for healthcare technology, she hopes to build upon her evidence based project to test the effectiveness of ultrasound guidance for central line insertion in the inexperienced anesthesia provider.

LaSonya often finds herself sharing with others the many opportunities that USF has to offer. Not only is she a mentor and graduate of USF, having the discipline and desire to pursue the DNP demonstrates her commitment and earns the respect of patients and colleagues alike.

Story by Marcia Parker
Photo by Luis Battistini
Originally published in the Summer 2010 Nursing Life magazine