Exercise Physiologist and Nurse Advances Education at American Sentinel

Exercise Physiologist and Nurse Advances Education at American Sentinel

Tony Chan has always liked healthcare, but he didn’t discover nursing until after starting his post-college career as a clinical exercise physiologist. “I worked in the cardiac rehabilitation area within a hospital for six years, and over time, became more and more interested in what the nurses were doing!” says Tony, who is from Stamford, Connecticut and went to Pennsylvania State University for his B.S. in kinesiology and Southern Connecticut State University for his M.S. in exercise physiology. 

Eventually, Tony was looking into nursing programs for himself. “The nurses I worked with at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center kept telling me I should think about nursing, and at first I resisted,” he says. The hospital had a generous tuition reimbursement program and Tony decided to go for it. He earned the A.A.S. in nursing from Bergen Community College in 2007.

Starting his nursing career

Tony started his nursing career in the telemetry and medical-surgical floor at Englewood Hospital. Soon, he moved back to Connecticut and became a nurse clinician in intermediate care/telemetry at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. “I really, really loved nursing from the start,” he says. “It was unexpected, but it was the best move for me.”

Tony continued to seek out opportunities to learn and grow. Over the years, he worked in the medical-surgical intensive care unit (MSICU) both as staff and clinical resource nurse. 

A move to New York, and into the progressive care unit

In 2016, Tony and his wife moved to New York, where his wife is from. He joined St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse as a staff nurse in the progressive care unit and decided to earn the BSN at Keuka College in 2018. 

His commitment to continuing education was instilled in him by his parents, who immigrated to the United States. “My parents always taught me the value of education, how it shapes you into a better person,” he says. “And if you’re lucky enough to receive tuition assistance from your employer, letting those opportunities pass by would be foolish.”

Time for advanced education

Tony’s wife recently started a Nurse Practitioner program and will finish in spring 2021. “I knew I wanted to get an advanced degree too,” says Tony. “A few of my coworkers went to American Sentinel University and I had heard about the school.” He decided to apply in 2019 for the MSN Nursing Informatics program and started classes in the fall. 

In his research, Tony discovered that informatics is a versatile area that would allow him to expand his nursing career. “I really like the confluence of technology and healthcare,” he says. I am interested in delivering care from the provider level and I also have a love for teaching,” he says. “A foundation in nursing informatics allows you to advance your practice, regardless of which nursing path you choose.”  

Informatics: Applicable to all areas

Informatics, Tony says, is a foundation that will help him enhance patient care. “Much of daily nursing care is related to informatics,” he says. “Informatics is critical in delivering quality care because it relates to everything we do for the patient.” 

Eye on the future: Nurse practitioner

Tony graduated from American Sentinel University in August 2020, and says the program was a great fit. “American Sentinel works so well for people like me, who have a full-time job, a working spouse and children,” he says. The experience fueled his fire to continue learning, and Tony is now applying to Nurse Practitioner programs in New York. “I believe there are many things I can learn that will make me a better nurse. I’m excited to continue learning and growing and I’m glad that American Sentinel has been a part of my journey.” 

Inspired by Tony’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.

Read the other student success stories for more inspiration.

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