I’ve been involved in healthcare in some form or fashion for about 22 years. For the first 10 years of my career, I was a heavily involved in Fire and EMS as a firefighter paramedic before transitioning into critical care transport, pediatric nursing and ultimately flight nursing. Currently, I’m a flight nurse and a base lead where I oversee 14 nurses and paramedics.
I know that that I cannot continue to live the lifestyle of a flight nurse working 24-hour shifts for my whole career which is what prompted me to further my education and pursue an advanced degree.
I have always loved working with kids and caring for them has always seemed to come easy for me. Once I finished nursing school I realized that I wanted to focus my nursing career in pediatrics and began working as a nurse in a Pediatric Emergency Department and then the Pediatric ICU. When I finally decided to pursue an advanced degree to further my education, due to my background in pediatrics, the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program within the MSN program was a natural choice for me.
When choosing what school to enroll in to pursue my MSN degree, DUSON was an easy choice. DUSON’s reputation speaks for itself and the online-based curriculum with minimal time on campus fit my lifestyle perfectly. The faculty at DUSON are leaders in their fields and many are still active practitioners. It was important to me to gain knowledge from someone who is still practicing because I know the knowledge I am gaining is from real-world experience, as well as the best evidence-based practice.
In the MSN program, we have the ability to work with telepresence robots—essentially an iPad on a stick enabling you to be present in a simulation, but not actually in the room. Working with the telepresence robots has been a skill I’ve found very useful when learning how to communicate better not only with patients but with fellow nurses. I’m not sure if other schools offer this type of technology, but it is one that has made a noticeable difference in my education and practice.
I continued to work full-time hours while in the MSN program, mainly out of necessity. While curriculum was rigorous, it is definitely something that can be accomplished with some dedication, time management skills and the awesome support system within your program at DUSON as well as your family. From your faculty advisors/professors to your fellow classmates you quickly learn that you are not alone in this adventure.