When Georgiana Ibach first became a nurse, it was to support her first love: music. The University of Delaware graduate (piano) was working as a piano teacher and organist, but eventually craved a more regular schedule. “I went to Beebe School of Nursing, graduated, and went into the operating room at Beebe Medical after working the medical-surgical floor,” says the Delaware native. Later, Georgiana joined Bayhealth’s Milford Campus in surgical services—all while raising her triplets (two girls and one boy).
In 2009, Georgiana returned to Beebe Medical, joining the cardiovascular/thoracic team in the operating room. “I decided it was time to open some doors, so I went back to school,” she says. By then, Georgiana was a single parent and needed to support herself and her four children. Her search for the right online program brought her to American Sentinel. “I really liked the flexibility and the way it fit my life.” She enrolled that same year, taking a two-year break from her musical endeavors—she is an accompanist/organist in her community for churches, musicals, and at various high schools—so that she could focus on school.
A move to utilization review
One year after earning the BSN, Georgiana got a job in utilization review, reviewing Medicare and commercial insurances and working with various agencies on approvals, denials and appeals. “When it came up, I thought, ‘I’m going to give this a try,’” she says. “I had the clinical background and now the education to do it. It felt so great to get hired for the position.”
A few years went by and Georgiana decided to go back to school for her master’s degree. When it came to choosing the right program, she didn’t hesitate to call American Sentinel once again to explore her MSN specialization options. “I returned to American Sentinel because of the great teachers and positive experience,” she says. She started the MSN, nursing education specialization in hopes that she will one day become an educator. “In my job, I do a little education of new trainees and that sort of thing and I really enjoy it. I could definitely see myself in the classroom one day.”
Another degree on her resume
In 2016, Georgiana graduated with the MSN. Not one to rest on her laurels, she is already plotting her return to school—this time for a DNP. It is a longtime goal that stems back to her childhood. “I’m the only one of my seven siblings to have gone to college,” she says. Her endeavors have certainly rubbed off on her children. Her daughter is in culinary school at Johnson and Wales, her other daughter is studying theater and drama at Towson University and her son is eyeing law or business school while studying at Albright College. Georgiana also has a seventh-grader, adopted from Russia, who studies piano.
An American Sentinel ambassador
Georgiana is currently an ambassador for American Sentinel University, speaking to prospective students about her experience. “I love encouraging other people to go to school,” she says. Her advice: if she can do it, so can anyone else. Despite having one child still at home, a full-time job and a full calendar of upcoming shows in which she is playing piano—she played in 22 shows last summer and substituted many Sundays as a church organist. She is currently rehearsing Cinderella at the local theater, which debuts in November. At American Sentinel, Georgiana managed to graduate with a 3.8 GPA.
“American Sentinel was a great experience and I’m proud I did it,” she says. “I have wanted to earn these degrees since I had my children, but life tends to take over. Once I did this for myself, it really inspired me to keep going. I’m happy I proved to myself and to my kids that you can get an education at any age.”
Inspired by Georgiana’s story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like nursing education, informatics, nursing management and organizational leadership, 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.