A Start in Medical-Surgical
When Adrienne Rollins decided to pursue nursing, it was after many years thinking she’d become a pediatrician. “As I learned more about nursing, I decided on that instead,” says Adrienne, who grew up in the New Orleans area and served from 2000 to 2006 in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. She entered a BSN program and graduate in 2007, joining the Air National Guard while in school.
Adrienne started her career at the Ochsner Westbank Campus as a medical surgical nurse before moving to West Jefferson Medical Center as a rehabilitation staff nurse. She left the position in 2010—at the same time that she left the Air National Guard. She got into agency nursing, gaining experience in long-term acute care, trauma and other clinical areas at places like St. Theresa Specialty Hospital and Kindred Healthcare.
“I’m someone who likes to learn different things and broaden my experience,” says Adrienne. Although she had opportunities to try new things throughout her career, she also started thinking it was probably time to boost her resume with further education. She had started a Nurse Practitioner program in 2009, in fact, but the timing wasn’t right. In 2016, Adrienne started doing research on MSN programs.
American Sentinel University
The professional development department at Adrienne’s employer, Ochsner Medical Center, helped her explore some options and she learned about American Sentinel University. “I just really liked the sound of American Sentinel,” she says. “I had this feeling that it was a program that would fit me best, and I loved that the school is military friendly and offers discounted tuition for military members and veterans.” By August 2017, Adrienne was enrolled in the MSN, nursing education specialization.
Why nursing education? “I’ve thought about becoming an educator for a long time,” she says. “I think I can be the kind of teacher that is encouraging and respectful. At the hospitals where I’ve worked, I was always that champion who wanted to learn new things and share them with my unit. I like teaching others and I’d like to focus on sharing my knowledge.”
Hired as a student learning specialist
At Ochsner Medical, Adrienne got to know another nurse who was a dean at Chamberlain University. When an open position came up that fit her experience, she decided to apply. As of May 2019, she is the student learning specialist, a role in which she helps nursing students in the simulation lab and provides tutoring. In August 2019, she will graduate with the MSN, nursing education specialization.
Even though her education career is just beginning, Adrienne is already laying her future plans. “I want to become a dean one day,” she says. “I can see myself enjoying the administrative side as much as teaching.” She’s grateful that she decided to take a chance and enroll in school when she did. “Things have worked out like I hoped they would. I’d tell other students thinking about attending American Sentinel to go for it. The advisors, staff and teachers are all so helpful, and the education will get you where you want to go.”
Inspired by Adrienne’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.
Read the other student success stories for more inspiration.