American Sentinel DNP Student Set to Lead Next Generation of Nursing Students in Montana

– Nurses with Doctoral Degrees Have Skills to Lead Change and Promote Health and Wellness –

AURORA, Colo. – December 17, 2013 – American Sentinel University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Educational Leadership program student Sheila Matye was recently named a member of the Montana State University Leadership Class of 2014, where she is an associate clinical professor for MSU’s College of Nursing.

Matye is just one of just 22 individuals within the Bozeman, Mont.-based University to be selected for this distinct honor recognizing her leadership skills. This honor signifies Matye’s passion for nursing education, which she brings to the University where she has taught since 2004. Recently, she returned to school to earn her doctorate degree and hopes to become an ambassador for the future of nursing in her home state of Montana.

Pursuing DNP to Enhance Career

After beginning her nursing career in 1993 and spending 15 years working in the neonatal intensive care unit and several years in pediatric psychiatry, Matye was encouraged by her mentor to pursue teaching and earned a MSN in nursing education from Gonzaga University in 2006.

She says that returning to school for her doctoral degree was always a goal.

“I feel to be the best role model I can be, I needed to advance my education,” says Matye, who is active in the nursing profession, serving as ambassador of the National League of Nursing and leadership succession chair for her local Sigma Theta Tau chapter. “When I did my research and found American Sentinel’s online DNP program, it seemed meant to be. I knew it was the right fit – the intimacy of the cohort program and the supportive environment were exactly what I was looking for.”

The American Sentinel DNP Educational Leadership program is based on cohorts of students that start and progress through the DNP program together. The program begins with a 10-day on-site residency in Aurora, Colo. that encourages students to get know each other and network. Then, there is a second 10-day residency at the beginning of the second year of study. The cohorts are designed to be small enough so that students can establish a close bond together.

Gearing up for a Leadership Role

Matye began her DNP program in June 2013 and will graduate in 2015. She hopes to some day move into a dean or campus director position at MSU. “I know that the education that American Sentinel is providing me will guide me in that direction,” she says.

American Sentinel’s DNP program is designed to help students master leadership competencies in the educational track specialty needed to be a dean or director of a nursing program.

“Some of the leadership aptitudes that Sheila is learning in her DNP program include organizational management, effective communications skills, the ability to analyze and determine strategy and how to create a vision for an organization,” says Judy Burckhardt, Ph.D., MAEd, MSN, RN, dean, nursing programs at American Sentinel University.

Dr. Burckhardt says that earning a DNP degree is the final step Matye needs to take to further her career and enhance her passion. As a seasoned nurse and educator, Matye has become a nursing education advocate – leading the next generation of nursing students.

“The future of nursing depends on nurses with doctoral degrees, like Sheila, who have the skills and abilities to lead change and improve nursing education,” adds Dr. Burckhardt.

Equipped with the educational leadership aptitudes she is gaining in American Sentinel’s DNP program and the Leadership MSU program, Matye is confident she will undoubtedly possess the skills needed to achieve success. And best of all, she is excited to achieve this important goal.

“I am doing this for me,” says Matye. “I felt very ready to take this step and I know that when I am finished, I will feel fulfilled and proud.”

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice Educational Leadership program.

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.