by Elizabeth Griffith | July 31, 2015
Like many adults, Jennifer Jones’ professional aspirations have led her in other directions than she first planned. As a child, she imagined herself working for the FBI, possibly in forensics. As a teenager, she saw herself as more of a counselor for women and children. However, when it came time to actually pick a career direction, Jones chose to start at Indiana University, where she graduated with a bachelor of applied health science degree.
In 2006, her search continued, as she enrolled in MedTech College and earned a certificate to become a medical massage therapist. Three years later, however, she began to consider a career in nursing. That decision became a clear course of action, once she witnessed the wide range of nursing care her grandmother received during a three month hospitalization following a stroke. “I saw a distinct difference between good and bad nurses. It motivated me to want to be the type of good nurse that would deliver compassionate care to everyone's loved ones.”
Jones enrolled in MedTech’s nursing program in 2009, earning her associate’s degree in 2010. After passing her board certification exam, she was hired as a Registered Nurse (RN), at St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital, where she still works today. Within the next few years, it became clear that she needed the additional job security holding a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree would give her. In fact, in the April 2014 report from The Journal of Nursing Administration, it states “…the Tri-Council for Nursing recommends an increase in the proportion of nurses with a BSN degree with proposed target of 80 percent by 2020.”
Choosing the RN to BSN program from Marian’s Adult Programs (MAP) at Marian University was an easy one. Having worked along-side other Marian University nurses for years, she had first-hand experience to validate Marian University’s reputation for nursing excellence. Jones also appreciated that the program wasn’t completely online, as she wanted the face-to-face interaction with faculty and other students. She also knew that her fellow students would be amazing resources for her professional future, each with years of valuable work experience. “The hybrid program for adults was wonderful. I wanted time in the classroom, but I could schedule online classes when life became busy, and I couldn’t be on campus.”
During her time at Marian University, she was able to develop strong relationships, and she responded to the teaching style of instructor Cheryl Curtis and cited the Community Health Nursing class as one of her favorites, as it provided valuable interpersonal and leadership development opportunities.
Sixteen months later, having completed her BSN, Jones walked at the 2015 Marian University graduation ceremony. She believes that having her BSN helps her stand out among coworkers who only hold an associate’s degree. Of course, she actively encourages them to enroll in MAP’s RN to BSN program!
She hopes one day to work in labor and delivery, as she still enjoys working with women and children. However, her long term career goal is related to her childhood dream—to become a forensic nurse examiner. In the meantime, she’ll continue to grow as a nurse and do the best she can to help others in difficult situations. “Some days I leave work and I smile for hours, thinking about someone that I was blessed to encounter that day. Other days, I go home and cry, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't save someone. Each experience makes me stronger. I learn something new every day.”
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