Mason alumna Joni Brady (DNP,'15) and her family have found a home in many locations, making multicultural viewpoints a welcome norm throughout her life. As part of a military family, Brady has lived in Okinawa, Japan; Stuttgart, Germany; San Diego, California; New York, and now Northern Virginia. In each location, she evolved as a care provider by learning unique perspectives and insights into global health and leadership from nurses all over the world.
While traveling, Brady engaged herself in the local community and furthered her education as a nurse. She earned her nursing diploma in New York, her bachelor's degree in California, and her master's degree in Germany. When she returned to the States, she pursued a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Mason, which she completed in 2015.
"What you realize through travel and exposure to those other cultures is we all have the same basic wants and needs, regardless of where we're from," says Brady. "That's one of the things I loved about my education at Mason. We have such a diverse student body, and you get the beauty of all those cultures coming together and sharing their different world views and life experiences."
Growing as a Mason Nurse, Helping Other Mason Nurses Grow
Like many, Brady chose Mason due to the reputation of its diverse community. "I loved the diversity of the student body, and I liked that that there was that diverse population [where my] colleagues would be representing multinational backgrounds," says Brady. "It was beautiful to be with colleagues in that setting of learning, and it was a safe space--everyone was supportive of each other."
The lively atmosphere and curriculum of Mason's DNP program allowed Brady to pursue several projects that prepared her for a career in leadership. One memorable experience for Brady was working on a five-semester implementation science project at Inova with the system nurse researcher. The experience helped Brady provide future opportunities for nursing students.
"Our work, teaching nurses how to implement evidence-based practice, was a pilot research study and went on to underpin annual funding for evidence-based practice grants to practicing clinical nurses,” says Brady.
Since the completion of her project, Inova nurses have produced 40 evidence-based practice projects with results presented locally, nationally, and internationally. "Being involved at Mason gave me the ability to give other nurses the opportunity to grow their practice through my work," says Brady.
Brady’s time at Mason strengthened her skills in clinical nursing, consulting, researching, and leading a global nonprofit. When thinking back on her career, Brady values bringing together different viewpoints and cultures to advance nursing practice across the world. She credits Mason for further preparing her to meet her goals.
"I love that I have been able to tie it all together in a way that is personally meaningful and professionally meaningful," says Brady. "I also think my time at Mason in my doctoral program really prepared me to have the skills to lead a global nonprofit."
Advancing the Nursing Practice Internationally
Brady's appreciation for different cultures and her value in advancing nursing practice are evident in her career as a nursing consultant and researcher. During her time abroad, Brady attended conferences in multiple countries, such as Ireland and the United Kingdom, to understand how different cultures view the perianesthesia specialty, the nursing practice of caring for patients undergoing and recovering from anesthesia due to surgical and invasive procedures.
As the Chair of the International Collaboration of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (a global nonprofit with a multinational board represented by eight countries), one of Brady's goals was to establish a more uniform understanding of the perianesthesia clinical nurse role to strengthen the practice worldwide.
Since then, Brady and a team of researchers have published a well-received study by the international nursing community. The study employed a global survey, which showed discrepancies in how different countries recognized the field of perianesthesia. The findings described the role, responsibilities, and education of perianesthesia nurses working in care units from 11 countries. The peer-reviewed nursing journal publication has been downloaded over 2,100 times since January 2021.
Giving Back to the Mason Community
Just as Brady has helped nurses around the world advance their practice, she values giving back to the Mason community. Her service on the College's Alumni Chapter Board has been instrumental through her advocacy and philanthropy of uplifting Mason's future leaders in health care by promoting new opportunities for students to pursue.
"I'm grateful for the experience, for the comradery, and for the important work that Mason is doing to enrich our community in so many ways," says Brady. "I am proud to be a grad of Mason and continue service through the Alumni Chapter Board."