It took Katran Stewart some time to get to nursing school, but when she got there, she knew she’d discovered her passion. A payroll specialist for the New Mexico Air National Guard for six years and a Certified Nurse Aide for ten, Katran enrolled in nursing school on something of a whim.
“I entered nursing school with my cousin because she didn’t want to do it alone,” says Katran, a native of Albuquerque. When she graduated from Central New Mexico Community College in 2001, she took a job at the Children’s Hospital of New Mexico. “I realized then that I really loved it—being a nurse and working with kids.”
Seeking adventure with travel nursing
In 2006, Katran decided to become travel nurse, where she continued to work in pediatrics. That led her to Colorado, where she joined the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s, a HealthONE hospital. Katran has worked on the general pediatric floor since 2007.
Soon after, Katran realized that without a BSN, she wouldn’t be able to advance at her hospital. “I decided to go back to school,” she says. A friend referred her to American Sentinel University. “The university came highly recommended, so I decided to explore it. I liked that it was affordable and that I got some academic credit for my military service.”
Beginning her academic journey
Katran started the RN to BSN program in early 2015. She admits that she was nervous about online learning and needing to ramp up her computer skills, but quickly got the hang of things. “Going back to school takes up most of my free time, but I know that it is a sacrifice worth making.”
In a short period of time, Katran says she’s already learned more than she anticipated. “I’m really enjoying myself and I’ve learned so much,” she says. “I can see the improvements in my nursing skills, knowledge and confidence. I love being able to go to school on my schedule. I’ve taken some classes that are great refreshers, and others that have taught me a lot of new things too.”
Onward and upward
With 20 years of healthcare experience, Katran feels confident that the BSN will make her a great candidate for any job. “I’ll be moving out of state in the next few years, and I don’t want to be limited,” she says. “With the BSN, I feel confident that I can go anywhere in the country and get a good job.”
An investment worth making
Katran hopes to graduate from American Sentinel in 2017. Despite the fears she had in the beginning—about her technical skills and the time commitment that class work would require—she says pursuing her BSN has been absolutely valuable. “I would recommend this program because it is well designed and all-around fantastic,” she says. “American Sentinel’s BSN instructors are very knowledgeable and helpful, and the staff, from the student success advisors to the people in financial aid, are supportive and caring. I can honestly say I’m learning so much.”
Inspired by Katran’ story? A BSN is ideal for nurses who want to expand their knowledge base, become more marketable and enjoy greater career stability and mobility. Specialized knowledge forms the foundation of nursing and when you acquire new knowledge, you can apply it to nursing practice in ways that enhance patient care and improve outcomes.
Read the other student success stories for more inspiration.