Dana Wing-Reed tried many times through the years to get her bachelor’s degree—but as a full-time nurse and a busy mother of three, the time was never exactly right.
“I received a diploma of nursing in the mid-1980s and went on to work in hemodialysis in the hospital and the outpatient setting for most of my career,” says Dana, who grew up in Illinois and moved to Florida in the late 1980s. “Completing college was something I tried to do many times, but it was always something that ended up on the back burner.”
Focused on Her Career
In 2002, Dana joined DaVita, one of the leading providers of dialysis services in the country. She held a variety of nursing roles through the years, and in 2012, she made the transition to informatics. With a longtime interest in computers—she’d even considered becoming a computer programmer before she went to nursing school—Dana was one of the first to raise her hand when the organization created several new nursing informatics positions.
In her first informatics role, Dana acted as the liaison between the business side and the nursing side of DaVita. In late 2012, Dana transferred to a clinical business analyst role. She is responsible for gathering and writing the business requirements for clinical applications that the company uses. She works both in the design phase of the software and on the troubleshooting when issues arise. “I’ve always loved computers, and in my current role I am able to apply all of the dialysis experience I gained as a nurse, too,” she says.
Finding American Sentinel
Although not having a degree never held Dana back, she always wanted to fulfill her goal. Not long after she transitioned into the informatics role, Dana decided to make it happen. “I was searching for an online BSN program and I found American Sentinel University,” she says. “They were willing to take all of my credits from prior education, which was amazing.” [programpush poi=”RNBSN”]
With hard work and good support, Dana completed her BSN in February 2014. “American Sentinel has wonderful instructors who really care about students,” she says. “The student support was excellent.” With her BSN now under her belt, Dana hopes to start American Sentinel’s Master of Health Care Informatics in the near future.
The Skills to Fuel Her Career
As the field of nursing changes, the importance of market-relevant nursing programs cannot be overstated, Dana says. “American Sentinel’s program focuses on where nursing is headed in the future and the major issues facing the profession,” she says. “Students are encouraged to use their knowledge to better their community.”