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Why did you choose Southeast Missouri State University?

As I was researching online RN-BSN Nursing Programs, I became overwhelmed when they all started to look the same. I've worked hard to choose my career goals, and I wanted a university that would help me get the most effective education. I choose Southeast Missouri State University because it was a right fit- such as, matching my personality, attributes, values, and the vision I have for my future career goals.

What made you choose to pursue an online degree?

I choose to pursue an online degree for the freedom and flexibility. With having a family and working full-time, I have a busy life, and a very busy schedule. There are class discussions, and posting of assignments by a required date or time, but I can work on those in my spare time. I am able to still spend time with my family, and complete my assignments on time because of the flexibility to do my homework in the middle of the night or first thing in the mornings.

What is your current occupation? Please Describe.

My current occupation is a RN Pediatric Nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. I recently was chosen to receive the Jones Ambulatory Nursing Scholarship at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Many nurses applied for the scholarships, it is a great honor to recieve it.

I can go into a detailed job description, but pediatric nursing is a rewarding but demanding career. It’s a matter of showing empathy and sensitivity and having excellent communication skills to succeed.

I work with children of all ages suffering from many different conditions. Daily, I play a key role in assessing the nursing needs of the child, by taking into account their medical, social, cultural and family circumstances. Pediatric nursing is very special to me, because it provides the opportunity to play a key role in a child’s life when that child needs you most.

What is your education history? (E.g. did you attend several universities? Did you complete your degree all online from start to finish? Did you change majors?)

I was able to go back to school, when John, my husband, finished his Master’s Degree. It was a complete career change for me. I worked in the pediatric dentistry field for 15 years, and knew my calling was to be a Pediatric Nurse. I decided to do the fast track to get to where I wanted to be. I went to LPN school for 11 months at Northland Career Center in Platte City. After graduating, I directly entered the 9 month LPN-RN nursing program at Park University in Parkville, MO. For both of the nursing programs, it was face-to-face classroom with clinicals.

What are your career goals?

My career goals are to begin studying for the Certified Pediatric Nurse exam, and to finish my BSN (it’s too early to know if I will go back to school for my Masters), and to maintain being a Pediatric Nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Why is getting your degree important to you?

Getting my degree is important to me because it gives me confidence that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I want to always be an example to London, our daughter who is currently in her junior year of college. It’s a feeling of accomplishment, and to be able to tell people I have my BSN in nursing is something I want to be able to say.

Who has had the biggest influence on your Southeast experience and why?

Leah Michel, my Academic Advisor. She has been a wonderful driving force behind my success here at SEMO. She is always very patient, has answered all my questions and has given me good advice. Without Leah I would be lost. It's nice to know someone actually cares about their students.

How is your class work load compared to your personal schedule?

My class load is doable with my personal/work schedule. I am taking 2 classes a semester, plus I plan to do 2 summer classes until I graduate. It’s a matter of time management.

What 3 pieces of advice would you pass on to someone who is considering an online degree?

  • Don't be afraid to ask- Your professor is an email or phone call away. If you have questions along the way, don't hesitate to ask.
  • Keep up- One of the fallacies of online classes is, "I can wait until the weekend to start working on my class since most of the requirements are due by Sunday at midnight.” Absolutely not true. Most online classes have deadlines.
  • Make a calendar- Make a school calendar and mark due dates of every assignment. This study time on your calendar is as important as any other appointment you have. Don't deviate from your study schedule once you make it.
Never forget you can do this!