“It was always my lifelong goal to help people,” says Wisconsin native Shannara Faupl, 2016 MSN, nursing management and organizational leadership specialization graduate and soon-to-be MBA student. “I’m a people person and thought about majoring in pre-med in college but switched to nursing.”
Shannara earned the Associate Degree of Nursing in 2000 and took an RN/charge nurse position in January 2001 at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Eau Claire—where she’s been ever since. She joined the inpatient area, a medical-surgical unit that specializes in neurosciences, pediatrics and trauma. “I fell in love with the trauma unit during my clinical rotations in school and felt very at home in this department,” Shannara says. Along the way, she decided to give her career a boost by pursuing the BSN at Viterbo University in 2007.
A career on the rise
After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Shannara was promoted to nurse supervisor of the neurosciences/pediatrics/trauma department in 2008. While her career was going well, a mentor encouraged her to continue her education. “She saw me on a leadership path and encouraged me to consider a master’s or doctorate,” Shannara says. Initially, she started a Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. “I realized quickly that the program wasn’t a good fit for me and my goals. That’s when I found American Sentinel University.”
With several colleagues and her supervisor pursuing master’s and doctorate degrees at American Sentinel and her employer having an educational partnership with the university, Shannara had heard positive things about the university. “I liked what the MSN had to offer,” she says. “The program was manageable with my work and life schedule.”
Shannara started the MSN, nursing education and organizational leadership program in 2014. “I’ve been very pleased with the curriculum, which has been very applicable to my work. Really, I’ve enjoyed everything about American Sentinel. The program has helped me strengthen areas where I was weakest and has sharpened my mental game significantly.”
Onward and upward
After a lot of hard work, Shannara graduated in 2016. Soon thereafter, she learned of an opening for Mayo’s director of primary care of the Family Medicine, Urgent Care, Express Care, and Family Medicine Residency Clinic—and was encouraged by her boss to apply. “I’d been looking for a director position and applied and was so excited to get the job,” she says. Although there has been a learning curve transitioning from acute care in the hospital into preventative care in a clinic setting, she’s thrilled to be a part of the teams she now oversees. “It’s really exciting. There’s so much happening here at Mayo like there is at healthcare organizations around the country.”
Continuing her educational journey
When Shannara graduated, she knew her educational journey wasn’t over. “Long before I finished my MSN, I was thinking about next steps for myself,” she says. “I was thinking about how I could make myself stronger as a director and felt that having an MBA would benefit me a lot. I have a long-term goal of becoming an administrator one day.”
The MBA, Shannara adds, will help her with the many goals she has today in her new position. With the establishment of a residency clinic in August 2016 and plans to expand primary care and assess Mayo Clinic Health System’s urgent care models for efficiencies, a solid foundation in healthcare/nursing as well as business will give her the tools to make a lasting impact. Shannara will begin the MBA program in January 2017.
The right fit
When it came to choosing an MBA program, Shannara looked no further than her alma mater, American Sentinel. “I’ve loved everything about American Sentinel,” she says. “The online learning platform, the course curriculum, the way I’ve been treated and the fantastic people. I didn’t search elsewhere; I knew this was a place that would help me meet my goals.”
Inspired by Shannara’ story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like nursing management and organizational leadership, nursing education, informatics, or infection control. Specialized knowledge forms the foundation of these nursing fields. When you acquire new knowledge, you can apply it to nursing practice in ways that enhance patient care and improve outcomes.