Venus Buckner, Student
MA in Health Law and Policy Student at Hofstra Law
Based in California
Current role: Co-founder, VMB Risk and Safety Consulting LLC
- Registered nurse, Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM)
- More than 25 years in health care in various settings, including academic centers and urban and regional hospitals. As a director, areas of focus in risk management, patient safety, quality and regulatory compliance.
- Recipient of Patient Safety Award for operationalizing Just Culture from the Missouri Patient Safety Organization; project selected by ASHRM for innovation by incorporating Just Culture principles in peer review.
- Other projects include implementation of teambuilding strategies using AHRQ’s TeamSTEPPS program.
What motivated you to pursue the online MA in Health Law and Policy program at Hofstra Law?
The three main reasons why I decided to pursue Hofstra Law’s online MA in Health Law and Policy program are its relevance, convenience and administrative support.
I am passionate about patient safety and health care quality. Because health care is so heavily regulated at the federal and state level, I want a deeper understanding of the regulatory process and how health care laws come into being. Thus far, the courses are very relevant and applicable to my line of work.
As a professional, wife and mother, balancing the demands of a career, family and graduate school can be very challenging. In the past 15 years, every year I would say, “This is the year I will go back.” But, life happens. This is pretty common and I’ve even heard the same from my classmates. The online graduate education program really makes it feasible for individuals like me to pursue graduate education that’s relevant to my long-term goal.
From an adult learner’s perspective, there are many competing interests. The individual support I received from Hofstra Law started at the enrollment process. I did a lot of research before I enrolled at Hofstra Law. Through the help of Claudette, Kim and my first professor, Professor Colombo, it has really confirmed that I have chosen the right program.
How is the learning experience thus far?
The MA in Health Law and Policy program course topics and discussion questions are relevant, not only to the work that I do, but also to current events. I’ve always kept up with the local and national news. But with my additional learning about the different roles of government branches and the balance of power, I’ve developed a different “ear” and have a deeper understanding of current events and their implications to our democratic society. The professors are helping us develop our critical thinking skills so we can connect the health law concepts we are learning to the everyday issues we face.
At the end of the day, if I am asked the question “Is the program meeting your expectations?” I have to say in strong terms that it is.
How many hours per week have you dedicated to coursework? How do you balance time?
Everybody is different in the way we learn, manage and lead our lifestyle. For myself, I need to put in at least two to three hours a day to keep up. Depending on the demands at work and with the family, I may not be able to meet that goal, or I might exceed the goal. It is important to set aside time and at the same time be flexible. For example, when I wake up in the morning, I check my mobile device to see what kind of academic feedback I have received. Because of the availability to access online coursework, I usually go online at every opportunity during my downtime to read or work on assignments.
This is a commitment for the next two years. It is important to get some support from family and friends.
Do you have any advice/tips for students considering enrolling in this program?
Start out with a vision. What is it that you want to achieve? Having a vision of what you want to achieve can help get you back up when it can be discouraging. For me, it meant having a vision of understanding how our government works and how that applies not just in my professional life but also as an individual, as a member of this society and as a mother who wants to influence my children. It’s very important to have that clearly in mind because it will continue to motivate you even at the most difficult times.
Another advice is to take advantage of your expert professors and student support team to further enrich your learning experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand because you’re either on the right track or the experience of your professors can lead you to where you need to go.
Watch the full webinar here.