Earning her online doctoral nursing degree was the final step American Sentinel DNP student Sheila Matye needed to take to further her career and enhance her passion. A seasoned nurse and educator, Sheila has become an ambassador for the future of nursing education – leading the next generation of nursing students.
DNP student Sheila Matye, associate clinical professor in the College of Nursing at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., was recently named a member of the Leadership MSU Class of 2014. Sheila was one of just 22 individuals (representing various departments and colleges within the university) to be selected for this distinct honor. The program develops participants’ leadership skills that will contribute to the strength of the university and also helps each participant network effectively with campus leaders and better understand how colleges and departments across the university work together.
“I’m very passionate about MSU, the university’s future and nursing education,” says Sheila, who has taught at MSU since 2004. “To be a representative of MSU is humbling and exciting, and I believe I am a good person for it. I care a lot about my job and bringing my very best to the university.” In 2011, Sheila received the MSU Excellence in Teaching Award.
Pursuing her DNP to Enhance her Career
Sheila started her nursing career in 1993 and spent 15 years working in the neonatal intensive care unit and several years in pediatric psychiatry. Eventually, at the encouragement of her mentor, Dr. Susan Luparell (also a nursing faculty member at MSU), she decided to pursue teaching and earned an MSN in nursing education from Gonzaga University in 2006. She continues to work on an on-call basis for the pediatrics unit at Benefis Health System.
Returning to school for a terminal degree was always a goal, Sheila says. “I feel to be the best role model I can be, I need to advance my education,” says Sheila, 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 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.”
Gearing up for a Leadership Role
Sheila was accepted into the DNP program and started in June 2013. She will graduate in 2015. She hopes to one 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,” Sheila says.
Equipped with the leadership aptitudes she is gaining in the DNP program and the Leadership MSU program, Sheila will undoubtedly possess the skills she needs to achieve success. Best of all, Sheila adds, she is excited to achieve a goal. “I am doing this for me,” Sheila says. “I felt very ready to take this step and I know that when I am finished, I will feel fulfilled and proud.”