When Stacey Hornsby became an RN in 1995, she always had her sights set on management. Stacey started out in pediatric nursing, working in a postpartum and well-baby nursery as well as a neonatal intensive care unit. Ten years into her career, she moved into education, and became a clinical nurse educator in Salt Lake City, Utah. Later, she joined a nursing school as its simulation lab coordinator—and knew that further education was essential for her future.
A start and a stop
Stacey started an RN to MSN program at an online university, but didn’t enjoy the program as she hoped she would. “My first online educational experience wasn’t good,” she says. After just one semester, Stacey decided to regroup—and just in time. An opportunity to become a director of nursing and staff development for a rehabilitation and sub-acute care facility fell into her lap. Stacey turned her attention to her work, but within a few years, she decided it was time to try again to earn the professional respect she sought.
“I have always been active on steering and other committees at every place I’ve worked, and as I moved into management, I kept feeling that not having the MSN was holding me back,” Stacey says. “People expected that I had those credentials, and it was frustrating.” In 2013, Stacey landed a position as the manager of the education department at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, an acute care hospital owned and operated by IASIS Healthcare. The organization was all for Stacey pursuing further education, so she started the research process on the best university to meet her needs.
Finding American Sentinel
As an educational partner of American Sentinel University, Salt Lake Regional (IASIS) encouraged Stacey to explore the university’s MSN program. “I kept hearing from other nurses at my workplace how great American Sentinel was,” she says. Salt Lake Regional awarded Stacey a full scholarship to American Sentinel, and she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. She enrolled in the MSN, nursing education specialization, in June 2015. “I have been very pleased so far. It’s a very supportive learning environment and a solid program.”
Excited About Learning
Admittedly, Stacey worried about her ability to fit school into her already busy life. “I couldn’t fathom concentrating on one more thing,” she says. “But American Sentinel’s eight-week courses are so great and my employer and my husband have been so supportive. Best of all, I find myself excited to log in and do my school work because I learn so much from every conversation and every assignment.” Stacey says she is even considering pursuing the Doctor of Nursing Practice down the road.
As an education professional herself who oversees her organization’s clinical education program, nurse residency program and preceptor program, Stacey has a unique perspective on what quality learning should look like. “I have very high standards for education,” she admits.
When colleagues and new nurses at Salt Lake Regional now ask Stacey what she thinks about getting the MSN, she doesn’t hesitate with her answer. “I always say, ‘do it now,’ and then I tell them about American Sentinel! I wish I’d taken the leap years ago, but I’m so excited to be doing it now.”
Inspired by Stacey’s story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like nursing management and organizational leadership, informatics, or infection control. Specialized knowledge forms the foundation of these nursing fields. When you acquire new knowledge, you can apply it to nursing practice in ways that enhance patient care and improve outcomes.
American Sentinel University is an innovative, accredited provider of online nursing degrees, including an RN to BSN program and advanced degree programs that prepare nurses for a specialty in case management, infection control, and executive leadership.