Career-Minded Nurse Pursues BSN and MSN to Enhance Informatics Knowledge and Teach Others

Achieving Educational Goals Gives Nurse Great Confidence in Herself and Her Nursing Abilities –

AURORA, Colo. – August 5, 2013 – After working three years as a paralegal, Debi Rafferty realized she was meant for another career.

“My mom is a nurse and knew that was what I wanted,” she recalls. “She bought me a desk a year into my paralegal career and said, ‘You need to go back to school.'”

Rafferty returned to school and earned her associate degree in nursing and eventually found her way to the maternity unit in 1992 – and she’s been there ever since.

“I love my job,” Rafferty admits. “I love being a labor and delivery nurse. I honestly can’t imagine being in any other area of the hospital.”

She spent 17 years at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in southeastern Pennsylvania and has been at Delaware County Memorial Hospital since 2003.

Love of the Classroom

When Harcum College was looking for a clinical labor room instructor, Rafferty jumped at the opportunity and discovered a love for the classroom. However, she was encouraged to earn a bachelor’s degree in order to continue teaching.

As a busy mother of four children, it wasn’t easy for Rafferty to go back to school. “I thought I should finish my bachelor’s degree before my kids did.”

The idea of an online university appealed to her lifestyle. “When I found American Sentinel University and their online nursing program, the whole team answered my questions, especially my advisor, Devon Putnam. I liked the flexibility and the online structure. And I liked that it was affordable,” she says.

Rafferty’s professors also provided unwavering support. “I would never have finished without the support of my instructors. I never felt that I was there by myself.”

Next Stop MSN

After much perseverance, Rafferty completed her BSN degree online in October 2012, and says she learned more than she ever anticipated.

“School made me more aware of everything, from how the hospital system runs to how to achieve the goal of providing high-quality patient care,” she says. Rafferty says enjoyed the experience so much that she has recently decided to continue on at American Sentinel to earn her MSN and plans to pursue two specializations, nursing informatics and nursing education.

Her next big goal: to continue working in her position at Delaware County Memorial and bring her knowledge of technology to the hospital.

“I would love to help the organization become computerized,” she says. Rafferty also plans to continue teaching at Harcum College and hopefully in other nursing programs in the future. Rafferty plans to get a certification in bereavement, her specialty.

Nothing Stopping Her Now

As a single mother, Rafferty was able to run her household, continue working and succeed in school after 20 years away from college. One of her daughter’s is following in her footsteps and is currently in nursing school. “Nursing is definitely in the genes,” she says.

Achieving her educational goals has given Rafferty great confidence in herself and her abilities.

“I’m very proud,” she says. “My kids are proud, my mother is extremely proud and I now feel I am capable of doing this. American Sentinel goes above and beyond to help students like me succeed.”

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s RN to BSN degree program or MSN 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.