For as long as she can remember, Marianne Miranda has wanted to be a pediatric nurse. Born and raised in Connecticut, Marianne went to the University of Connecticut after high school to earn her BSN and joined Yale New Haven Hospital when she graduated in 1972. She’s been there ever since.
At Yale New Haven, Marianne was a staff nurse for three years, an assistant manager for three and a nurse manager in the infant and toddler unit for 15. All the while, Marianne was juggling another important responsibility: parenting. She adopted a little girl in 1989. “As a single mother, I wanted to devote as much as I could to raising my daughter,” says Marianne. When Yale New Haven opened a children’s hospital in 1996, Marianne eagerly accepted an opportunity to work in the pediatric surgical center, which offered her a better work-life balance.
When her daughter was in high school, Marianne wanted to earn some extra money to put toward her college. She became an adjunct faculty member in the LPN program at Stone Academy. “I discovered I loved education,” says Marianne. However, the longer she taught, the more important it seemed to further her education. ”It became clear early on for me that there were things I didn’t know.”
Marianne began a master’s program in nursing administration in Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, but soon decided that administration was not her passion—the clinical side was. So, she enrolled in the MSN online degree program at American Sentinel University in 2010, and though she never pictured herself at an online institution, American Sentinel won her over. “The university is supportive and full of people who care about you,” she says. “I was nervous—like many people my age, I didn’t grow up with computers. But I felt totally supported the whole way. From the technical services people to the student success advisors to the professors, everyone at American Sentinel is phenomenal. Every time I had a question, someone was there to respond to it quickly.”
A Newfound Interest in Bettering Her Profession
Marianne graduated from American Sentinel with her MSN, nursing education specialization in January 2013 with a 4.0 GPA. And without a doubt, the degree was hard earned—and taught Marianne more than she even expected. “The professors challenge you to think outside of the box,” she says. “The program made me think differently about teaching and education, about my philosophy of nursing and how nurses fit into the health care picture. The time has come to get involved and take a hard look at where we’re headed as a profession.”
And get involved Marianne has. Being a student inspired her to join professional nursing organizations—for the first time in her career—and even pushed her to get involved in a statewide initiative in Connecticut (through the Connecticut League for Nursing) to examine the competencies that new nurses need when they graduate from nursing school.
New Doors Open
Recently, Marianne moved into Yale New Haven’s pediatric sedation service, where she hopes to soon begin educating nurses and doctors throughout the hospital about pediatrics sedation. She also still teaches at Stone Academy, and may one day teach in an RN program, too. “American Sentinel has a great MSN program—I really loved it,” she says. “Going to school has been eye opening, and it’s changed me as a professional. Being a student opened up many doors for me.”