Like many before her, Lynn Landseadel was attracted to the nursing field after a great experience as a patient. “I have three children, and my youngest was delivered by a midwife who was so inspiring, I went on to become certified as a childbirth educator,” says Lynn, who has spent her entire career in Florida. At the same time, she also enrolled in an associate degree of nursing program, and when she graduated, began her career as a labor and delivery nurse at Morton Plant Mease Hospital. She stayed there for 10 years while also working as a parenting instructor for a teen parent program—something near and dear to her heart, as she had a son at age 16.
An unexpected life turn
In 1998, Lynn was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and was forced to step away from the workforce altogether. She received a stem cell transplant that was only supposed to buy her “a few years.” “I was home recovering for a while but eventually begged my physicians to let me return to nursing,” she says. Because she was immunocompromised and could no longer work with babies, Lynn moved into school nursing in 1999. “I think my job saved me. Returning to work brought me back to life.”
On for more education – and a career change
Fueled with a newfound inspiration after beating cancer, Lynn went back to school for BSN and MSN degrees (2008 and 2010) at St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida, respectively. She also took on a totally new career adventure: teaching. “A friend of mine was the dean of nursing at Rasmussen College and had been bugging me to consider teaching,” Lynn says. Finally convinced to embrace the new challenge and put her master’s in nursing education to work, Lynn left her role as a school nurse in 2011 and joined Rasmussen as a full-time instructor.
At Rasmussen, which Lynn says offers small classes and lots of teacher-student interaction, Lynn has discovered her niche. “I teach students at the end of their programs as they’re getting ready for boards,” she says. “I love seeing them grow from the time they begin their journeys to their graduation. It’s truly rewarding.”
Opening doors with a DNP
A few years later, Lynn began thinking seriously about earning a doctorate. “Rasmussen is introducing an MSN program in June and working on accreditation, and our leadership has shared their desire to promote from within, especially those with doctorates,” says Lynn, who discovered American Sentinel University’s DNP Educational Leadership program after a months-long search. She started the DNP in 2015. “The practice focus and education focus really appealed to me. American Sentinel also came recommended by a coworker. I just really liked the look of the program.”
As an 18-year cancer survivor, Lynn has become involved in advocacy for the American Cancer Society and the Florida Nurses Association and hopes that the DNP will enable her to continue that work. “I’d love to work on public policy and to get involved with some national organizations. When you advocate for nurses, you advocate for patients. That’s what I want to do.”
A program to fit her busy life
These days, Lynn is in the home stretch of her DNP Educational Leadership program. She and her husband are raising their autistic grandson, which she considers yet another reason to secure her future with the DNP. “I’m very happy I decided to do it,” says Lynn, who plans to attend commencement with her family in June 2018. “I’m passionate about advocacy and teaching, and I’m excited about what will happen next. I think the DNP could open a lot of doors for me.”
Inspired by Lynn’s story? A DNP with a specialization in educational leadership prepares master’s-educated nurses for leadership roles in nursing education programs. 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.