The first nurse in Slovenia to hold a PhD in nursing—a Sigma member—becomes a full professor.
The author returns to the University of Maribor, where he teaches, reviews manuscripts, and celebrates achievement.
LONDON, United Kingdom—This time of year, you can expect temperatures well below freezing in Slovenia, but I arrived during a week of exceptionally warm weather. Everyone was complaining. Warm weather melts snow, and it is said that Slovenian children are born with skis on their feet. The locals regard skiing almost like jogging. Local ski slopes, which use artificial snow during warm spells, dominate the skyline. It is not uncommon for Slovenians to ascend the slopes after work, make a quick downhill run, and be home for dinner. Several of my children are very good skiers, and one of my daughters organizes the British Army Medical Services cross-country ski team—on one occasion to victory. Her abilities were not inherited; I am not a skier.
I was back at the University of Maribor in Slovenia for three days of classes with first- and second-year doctoral program students. My sessions were on writing for publication and questionnaire development. Because it’s a two-year program, some of the students have heard a great deal of my material before, but it’s still a different experience for them as they have now made a start toward both publication and research design. I was really pleased at the level of engagement, so I came in early and sacrificed a lunch break to meet with students and give advice on their manuscripts. It was a real pleasure.
The big news during my visit was the promotion of Dean Majda Pajnkihar to the rank of full professor. I was especially pleased, as I was one of her international external assessors. Her prolific output, remarkable achievements, and contributions to the university made the case for promotion clear-cut. She is the first nurse in Slovenia to hold a PhD in nursing, and now she is the first to become a full professor in nursing and care, so this was truly an historic and happy occasion. Professor Pajnkihar established the first doctoral nursing program in Slovenia and works tirelessly to represent nursing at the nation’s highest levels.
My visit was not all work. One afternoon, we visited the town of Bled with its famous and beautiful lake. The Slovenian Alps—snow-tipped this time of year—are reflected perfectly in the still, clear water. An island with a church on it is a tourist attraction, and you can be transported to it in a rowboat. I thought I was the first in our family to visit Bled, but after putting some pictures on Instagram, I learned that my son-in-law had already been there and had swum to the island. In light of the imminent birth of our seventh grandchild—his first child with my daughter—I am assuming he will develop a more responsible attitude. RNL
Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open. Click here to access Blogger-resident entries posted before 2017 in Watson’s former blog “Hanging smart.”