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RN to BS in Nursing
1. Why did you decide to become a nurse? What is the most gratifying aspect of your job? What is the most difficult aspect?
I decided to become a nurse because I’ve always enjoyed helping people. I also like having a problem that I can solve. Nursing helps me to be able to do both. One of the most gratifying things about nursing is that there are so many things you can do with your skills. Most people think nurses only wear scrubs, but nurses can be so much more; from patient care to informatics, nurses can apply their skills in a variety of ways. I think another gratifying aspect of my job is to know what I do helps someone in the end. Often you do not know the impact you have on someone’s life, but hearing recovery stories, it helps to feel like you played a part in their success too. I think one of the hardest aspects of my job is time management. There always seems like more work is on its way, but learning to juggle and prioritize is key.
2. Why did you choose to continue your nursing education at CUNY SPS? Why an online program?
One of the main reasons I chose an online program was the flexibility it offered. Doing a traditional setting for my RN was tough, and I couldn’t see myself doing it again for my bachelors. I chose CUNY SPS for several reasons – the student to instructor ratio, the program is completely online, it followed a 15-week semester, and the cost.
3. Did you ever think that you would enroll in an online degree program? What has your experience been with online learning at CUNY SPS?
I definitely knew online education was the next step for me. Having a full-time job and other responsibilities, the inflexibility of traditional education was not going to work. My time at CUNY SPS has been great. I have been able to develop relationships with fellow classmates and instructors. Also, Dr. Reilly (Academic Director RN to BS in Nursing) is always only an email away. That continues to be a surprise to me. I can actually email the Academic Director and she answers back (usually really quickly too).
4. How do you manage your career, classes, and your personal life?
Schedules, lists and more lists. If I didn’t schedule all of these moving parts, something would definitely fall. I’m also thankful that I work in a setting that fosters learning, so I am often able to apply the information I learn right away, which also helps me stay on task.
5. What has been one of your favorite courses? Favorite professors?
I think every semester that has changed, but I’ve enjoyed most of my classes. However, my three highlights are - Health Teaching (NUR 302) helped me learn how to put together teaching plans, Nursing Informatics (NUR 313) helped me see the vast career options available to nurses, and Nursing Research (NUR 350) really helped me learn how to read and understand research papers/ articles.
6. Which professional and/or personal goals would you like to achieve prior to graduation?
One professional goal (and by extension personal goal) I’d like to achieve prior to graduation is work towards developing health promotion materials. As the state of New York tries to integrate physical and mental health, I would like to contribute my expertise to some of the content and learning that is currently being developed at my Center.
7. In your opinion, how do you believe you have grown thus far as a result of joining CUNY SPS?
Joining CUNY SPS has helped me feel confident in my decision to go into nursing and the importance of continuing my education. Knowing the skills that come along with nursing is great, but being able to really apply them and understand why is even better.
8. What advice would you offer someone considering applying for admission to the nursing program?
I would say to just go for it. I considered a variety of in-person and online programs and this was the best fit. Though classes are online, there are so many opportunities to connect to other students, faculty and the CUNY SPS community as a whole.
Melissa also shared a few fun facts about her life:
1. Place of employment: Center for Practice Innovations at the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene
2. Job title: Center Administrator
3. Place of residence: Brooklyn, New York
4. Weirdest place you have studied: Are there really any strange places in the New York City? I guess the line at Trader Joe’s. Some days you can easily be waiting in line for over 30 minutes.
5. Best thing about your community or NYC: Definitely the food. There is a lot of great food all over Brooklyn.
6. What you enjoy doing in your spare time (the little time that you have): When I’m not working or doing schoolwork, I enjoy volunteering and learning new things.