Adult Nursing Student Offers Lessons on Becoming Infection Prevention Nurse

– Champion for Infection Control and Patient Safety Chooses Infection Prevention and Control Specialization to Help Ensure Quality Care in All Aspects of Nursing –

AURORA, Colo. – August 29, 2013 – For one adult nursing student the road to becoming a nurse has not been without its challenges.

At the age of 43 – after a 24-year career in medical office administration – Tracy Sansossio enrolled in nursing school at Weyers Cave, Va.- based Blue Ridge Community College and received her associate degree in 2003.

“The degree was hard earned,” says Sansossio, who had thought of becoming a nurse since she was 19 years old. “No other achievement will ever match the pride I felt when I accepted that degree.”

She began her nursing career in a multidisciplinary medical/surgical/oncology/pediatric area of a medical center in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where she has lived all her life.

Sansossio worked her up into case management, but from the time she started nursing school she had a dream of becoming a nursing educator. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree (BSN) in 2007 from Old Dominion University and set the goal to earn her Master of Science Nursing degree (MSN) before she turned 52.

Finding an Online University That Met Her Needs

In 2010, she chose to enroll at American Sentinel University because of its flexible, online learning format, eight-week classes and superior student support.

“My student success advisor, Devon, was great,” she says. “She was a tremendous asset to me as I worked through the program and helped me solve any problems quickly and efficiently.”

While the course work was challenging, Sansossio says her professors pushed her along. “They were dedicated to helping me navigate a successful journey.”

Around the same time she started school she landed a position as a clinical educator within her hospital system and also began teaching part-time at two nearby community colleges. At American Sentinel, she initially gravitated toward the nursing education specialization, but ultimately decided to try something new.

“As a nurse, I’ve always been a champion for infection control and patient safety,” says Sansossio. “I decided on infection prevention and control for my specialization and I’m so glad that I did. I realize more than ever that my role is to heighten the practice of nursing by ensuring quality care in all aspects of the field.”

Finding New Ways to Heal Patients

A goal-oriented person, Sansossio spent the final few months of her MSN program developing a personal and professional 10-year plan. After an experience with a patient, she decided that part of that plan would be to learn to play an instrument – so that she could bring comfort to as many patients in the hospital as possible. She is taking harp lessons and hopes one day to play throughout the acute care area to help soothe patients’ pain and suffering.

“I am hoping to one day give back in a different way to the profession that has given so much to me,” she says.

Goal Achieved

Sansossio graduated with her MSN with an infection prevention and control specialization in December 2012 – just two months before her 53rd birthday. Even while working and teaching, she maintained a 4.0 GPA.

Unsurprisingly, she has a long list of goals to work toward – including earning a Certification in Infection Control (CIC) and becoming a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) – and in May 2013, she achieved the goal at the very top of her list and accepted a position within her current hospital to become an infection preventionist.

She says educating others will always be a part of her life and will continue to teach nursing students part time to satisfy her dedication to lifelong learning.

“I recognized the desire to educate long ago during my associate degree program,” says Sansossio. “Now, here I am: an educator and infection preventionist. My role in life is to guide.”

Nurses interested in planning, implementing and evaluating infection prevention and control measures should consider making this their career specialty. Earning a degree in this growing field, such as an MSN with an infection prevention and control specialization, is one way to ensure knowledge of best practices – and perhaps new career opportunities.

For more information or to register for American Sentinel University’s MSN, infection prevention and control specialization.

For more information or to register for American Sentinel University’s health care and nursing programs.

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited online nursing degree programs in nursing, informatics, MBA Health Care, DNP Executive Leadership and DNP Educational Leadership. Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.