Maryland Hospice Case Manager Pursues MSN, Eyes Doctorate, to Secure Her Future

Gladys Turner moved to the United States by way of Maryland from Ghana, Africa, in 1999 to pursue her dream of education. “Ever since I was young, my mother told me I’d be a good nurse,” says Gladys. Initially, she worked as an office secretary, but before long, became a Certified Nurse Aide and started working in home healthcare facilities and a children’s medical center as a nursing assistant and patient care technician.

Setting a goal

Eventually, Gladys earned an associate degree in 2008. She spent two years in Virginia pursuing her BSN at Shenandoah University while gaining experience at Winchester Medical Center. Nursing, Gladys says, has lived up to her expectations from the beginning. “This is the career I love,” she says. “I do it with all my heart and I think that shows. I work hard to do nursing at the very highest level.”

With her BSN complete, Gladys returned to Maryland in 2011 and joined Heartland Hospice, where she worked for seven years in rehabilitation and skilled nursing. “Hospice is a calling, I feel,” says Gladys, who has grown close to many of her patients’ families. “I’m proud of what I do and how important my role is for the families we serve.”

Moving into case management

In 2016, Gladys joined Heartland’s Department of Manor Care Health Services as a case manager, while becoming certified in palliative care and in case management and medication aide instruction. Her experiences teaching medical technician employees at Heartland as well as classes on CPR, first aid and advanced cardiac life support showed Gladys that she had the skills and interest to become an instructor one day. “I believe in offering myself to people,” she says. “I like helping people understand whatever it is they are trying to learn.”

Searching for the right MSN program

To prepare herself for the possibility of adjunct teaching in a nursing school and strengthen her career at Heartland Hospice, Gladys decided she should earn an MSN. She began researching programs in her area, but none had a focus on case management. Out of the blue, she saw an advertisement for American Sentinel University. “I had taken online classes during my BSN program and thought I’d check out the programs,” she says. “I was happily surprised that the MSN program had a case management specialization.”

Gladys began the MSN, case management specialization, in August 2017. “I love it,” she says. “The eight-week classes are perfect for me and the flexibility of the program means I can make it work with my job. It’s been a great experience interacting with students all over the country and learning from one another during the online discussions.” Gladys is on track to finish the MSN in August 2019.

Future goals

Gladys’s American Sentinel experience has been so positive, in fact, that she’s considering earning a doctorate. She also hopes to teach at a local community college after she graduates with the MSN—and one day, at a university.

“I keep recommending American Sentinel to other nurses I work with because it’s been such a great and supportive experience,” she says. “I want to move into a management or supervisory position at my current employer and I think the education I’m earning will help me do that. I’m very glad I decided on this university. It has been awesome.”

Inspired by Gladys’ story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like case managementnursing educationinformatics, 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.

 Have you dreamed of earning your BSNMSN or DNP? With American Sentinel, you can make that dream a reality.
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