Prof gives words of wisdom

Nancy Preteau

Nancy Preteau

As Dr. Penny Powers begins to explain her area of scholarship, a certain twinkle is seen in her eyes and there is a great deal of affirmation in her voice.

This head of the graduate nursing program not only runs the department, but she also writes about some unknown problems in her field such as persuasion and coercion.

Powers was born in Hollywood, Calif. and received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Davis in Psychology and Philosophy.

Powers’ original intent was to become a veterinarian, however, only those with 4.0 GPAs made it into vet school.

“I was just having too much fun outside of school. It was during the Vietnam War and I attended all the demonstrations,” Powers said.

She settled on animal behavior in psychology even though her first love is philosophy.

With her degree, she moved to Canada with her first husband and gave birth to her daughter there.

During her 18-year stay in Canada, she and her husband divorced and she completed a two year program to become a nurse.

She then moved to Seattle, Wash. where she proceeded to get her master’s degree and doctorate in nursing.

By then, Powers knew she wanted to teach nursing and knew she couldn’t do that without her doctorate.

She met her current husband and also fell in love with Harley Davidson motorcycles during this period of her life.

Upon completion of her doctorate, she moved to Rapid City and was the department head for West Rivernursing there until 1999.

Then she moved to Brookings and took over the job of the head of the graduate nursing department at SDSU.

Alongside Powers’ job at SDSU, she and her husband also find time to write books about motorcycling. She also raises peacocks and amaryllis bulbs.

Currently, she is involved in editing and writing a chapter in a book that will be called Moralism in Health Care. Contributors come from around the world, including Canada, New Zealand, New York and the United Kingdom.

Powers’ chapter covers the topic of persuasion and coercion and the ethics of the communication by health care professionals.

She believes that the persuasive strategies employed by health care providers in the United States have become unethical, leaving patients with no choice but what the health care providers suggest.

Another piece of Powers’ work is entitled Empowerment as Treatment and the Role of Health Care Professionals. This article discusses the new meaning of “the concept of” empowerment.

She writes that “Patients are considered empowered by health care professionals only if they make the correct choices as defined by the health care provider.”

Along with this she states that patients are not always adequately informed and therefore are not allowed to make a true decision on their own.

American’s idea of empowerment is greatly changed and deformed from what it used to be. Empowerment has become a treatment, Powers said.

Another topic Powers seems to be quite passionate about is the role of women in today’s society.

In teaching, she sees both traditional and nontraditional students come through her classrooms.

The women that are nontraditional seem to be apologetic and not as confident as the younger students.

She believes this stems from what women were taught as they grew up.

Powers said that in the past, women believed themselves to be inferior to men and now women are just as successful as men in any setting.

Powers said that she thinks it is great to see women stepping up and proving what they truly can do.

Powers has her own example of how women were to act and be treated from her own life.

In the eighth grade, Powers found that she was quite successful when it came to algebra.

She and a boy often competed for the highest grade in the class, which Powers and the boy found to be fun.

One day, Powers told her mother of this little competition. Her mother was horrified and told Powers that she should not compete with the boys, that he boys wouldn’t like her if she beat them at things.

Contrary to what her mother told her, Powers continued in her success in algebra and the rest of school.

Powers decided to become a nurse when she became divorced and had to support her daughter.

Striving for success, she was able to attain not only her nursing degree, but also a master’s degree and a doctorate.

When she did receive her doctorate, a roast was held in her honor by her committee at a private party.

Those who were there to honor her were sitting around in a circle, including her daughter.

Everyone went around and said something about her time with them.

When it got to her daughter, she was surprised to hear her chime in her own thoughts. What was said meant a lot to Powers.

Her daughter stated that she was very proud of her mother for her accomplishments and all she had done with her life.

Powers was hit with a wall of emotion, including tears at that moment.

It seems that no matter what Powers is involved in, she does it with passion.