New Nurse Educator Earns MSN Nursing Informatics, Eyes MSN Nursing Education

New Nurse Educator Earns MSN Nursing Informatics, Eyes MSN Nursing Education

When Jeff Underwood started his senior year of college as an elementary education major, he had a sudden change of heart. “Education was changing and although I loved the idea of teaching, I was having second thoughts when I got sick with pneumonia and dropped out for the semester,” says Jeff, who is from rural Ohio. Seven years later, Jeff found himself working in a grocery store—the same one where he worked throughout college. 

“I was almost 30 by then and trying to figure out my life when a friend told me, ‘You need to consider becoming a pediatric nurse,’” he recalls. The suggestion appealed to Jeff, so he started looking into Certified Nurse Aide positions at Fayette County Memorial Hospital and got a foot in the door. It was December 2001. 

Patient care assistant

Soon, Jeff was expanding his experience at Fayette County Memorial by becoming a weekend patient care assistant. He also joined a pediatrician’s office. In 2006, Jeff left to start nursing school, graduating in 2008. “At that time, I started full time as an RN at Fayette County Memorial in med-surg,” he says. “But as much as I loved what I was doing, I knew I wanted to further my education degree eventually.”

Fast-forward to 2015, when Jeff had several years of experience under his belt. The time was right to return to school, so when the director of nursing at his hospital encouraged him to look into an RN to MSN, he began his research. “She had actually started school at American Sentinel University and told me I should look into the school too,” he says. “From that first call, I was comfortable with American Sentinel. They seem like a place that really has the best interests of students in mind and it honestly felt like home.” 

MSN Nursing Informatics

Although Jeff’s career at Fayette County Memorial has been focused in med-surg, nursing informatics was an interest. “At our hospital, I’ve become the informal go-to person for all things technology,” he says. “I chose the informatics specialization because I want to bring my small community hospital into the future in terms of technology. I think technology is one of the keys to bringing more efficient, better patient care to patients.”  In December 2019, Jeff completed the MSN Nursing Informatics. 

Hondros College of Nursing

Since 2011, Jeff has taught medical assistant classes at Daymar College, a technical college that has a medical assisting program. Later, a friend Daymar encouraged Jeff to apply to her new employer, Honduras College of Nursing. “This same friend had actually encouraged me to get my MSN in informatics because it could open doors for me to either teach or work in nursing informatics,” Jeff recalls. In early 2020, he learned of a full-time instructor position at Hondros and applied. Jeff became a clinical instructor in April 2020.

“It’s strange how it all came together, and while I’d planned to go into informatics, teaching was my first love and something I always envisioned myself doing,” says Jeff. “Now I get to do the two things I love: teaching and nursing. It really all came full circle.” 

“It’s strange how it all came together, and while I’d planned to go into informatics, teaching was my first love and something I always envisioned myself doing,” says Jeff. “Now I get to do the two things I love: teaching and nursing. It really all came full circle.” 

Now considering the MSN Nursing Education

Jeff is now thinking about his next move, and earning the MSN Nursing Education at American Sentinel is in his plans. “I’m acclimating to my new job in teaching, but I am likely going to start next year,” he says.

For Jeff, furthering his own education is about bettering tomorrow’s nurses. “I hope to pass on my knowledge to future nurses so that they can go on and make an impact on the profession,” he says. “I want to give my very best to my students, and if earning an MSN Nursing Education or even a Doctor of Nursing Practice Educational Leadership later on helps me do that, then I will do so.” 

Inspired by Jeff’s story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like nursing 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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