Nursing isn’t Stephanie Muminovic’s first career, but her earlier steps perfectly laid the groundwork to pursue the field. The Kentucky native had a 14-year career teaching high school science in Texas before a cross-country move to Florida brought about change she never anticipated.
“The state of Florida didn’t recognize my continuing education completed in Texas, so I would have had to go back to school to continue teaching high school science,” says Stephanie. She taught middle school science for one year but found that the setting didn’t fit her. When she got pregnant with her third child in 2009, the timing was right to do something different.
Switching gears to nursing
Stephanie enrolled in LPN school at Galen College of Nursing. “I love science and have always been interested in healthcare, and I knew that with the nursing shortage, there would be a job for me at the end of the program,” she says. She worked as an LPN for two years while continuing on to earn an Associate of Science in Nursing online at Excelsior College in 2013.
Once she became an RN, Stephanie joined Bayfront Health Medical Center as a charge nurse. She left the hospital in 2014 to become a clinical educator at a health and rehabilitation center, where she later held the role of assistant director of nursing for a year. She also decided to get a master’s degree, and started her research for the right program in 2014.
American Sentinel University
An online search led Stephanie to American Sentinel University and several other programs. Immediately, American Sentinel stood apart from the rest. “The MSN program was well organized, the structure was flexible enough to let me double up on classes so I could finish sooner, and I was able to start a new class every four weeks,” she says. For one year, Stephanie dedicated herself to the pursuit, graduating with the MSN Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership in an astounding 12 months—with a 4.0 GPA, no less.
Back in the classroom
Returning to teaching was a natural step once Stephanie had some nursing experience under her belt. While an MSN student, Stephanie became an adjunct faculty member in the ADN program at Fortis College. “I love teaching and always have,” she says. “Nursing is very rewarding, but from the start of my nursing career, I always intended to teach.” She learned about a full-time opening fora nursing instructorat Galen College, her alma mater, and applied just after she finished up the MSN at American Sentinel. She got the job and started in December 2015.
On for a Doctorate of Nursing Practice Educational Leadership
Stephanie transitioned into the role of academic success coordinator, and knew that holding a doctorate would help her reach her goal of continuing to grow as a leader at Galen College. American Sentinel is an educational partner of Galen, so Stephanie chose to return to the university where she’d had a great MSN experience. She started the DNP Educational Leadership in April 2017 and will graduate in spring 2019.
A move and a big opportunity
With her DNP underway, Stephanie was a candidate for an assistant to the dean position at Galen College in Cincinnati when it opened up in 2017—and she jumped at the chance to move closer to her family in Kentucky. She also took over as ADN program director in June 2018. “Galen wouldn’t have considered me for this role without my education,” Stephanie says. One day, she adds, she hopes that the doctorate will allow her to get involved with Galen’s future MSN program as well.
Earning the DNP has been worthwhile, Stephanie says. “I’ve gained a lot of knowledge that I need as an educational leader,” she says. “I’ve met colleagues from around the country who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Overall, the DNP Educational Leadership was an investment in myself that I’m glad I made.”
Inspired by Stephanie’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.