Karyn Boyd admits she made “many missteps during my high school years,” but the outcomes were all positive. “I was privileged to have become a mother to three amazing children, and I discovered within myself a desire to serve humanity,” says Karyn, who is a native Texan who now lives on the Texas/Oklahoma border.
At 20, she became an Emergency Medical Tech and started her journey to nursing, working as a medic and instructor for EMT and first responder classes. At the age of 24, Karyn became a Licensed Practical Nurse—by then a divorced mother of two. In 2004, she joined Texoma Medical Center and decided to become a Registered Nurse. The hospital allowed her a one-year leave to do so, and she returned in 2006 to begin her RN career.
From charge nurse to house supervisor
Karyn still works at Texoma Medical today, with her clinical experience varying from critical care to intensive care, from the emergency room to pediatrics. In 2013, she became the house supervisor at the hospital. “I’m the head cheerleader who tries to handle every situation in a way that makes things better,” she says.
Despite nearing retirement and reaching a position at Texoma Medical that makes her fulfilled, Karyn started thinking about the BSN in 2019. “I played with the idea for a while, but finally decided to do it when COVID-19 hit,” she says. “Field hospitals were going up everywhere, and it dawned on me: if my hospital offers tuition reimbursement to help me better myself through education, I’d be foolish not to go back to school.”
Finding American Sentinel University
Karyn learned about American Sentinel from colleagues who were also students at the university. She started the program in September 2019 and has nothing but positive things to say about the experience thus far. “American Sentinel understands that we are nurses with busy lives who are back in school to make life better for the patients we serve, and we need the education behind us to do that,” she says. Karyn is aiming to graduate in late 2021 with the BSN.
The number of things learned has exceeded her expectations too. “My classes have helped me gain the confidence I need and my professors stimulate students by asking questions and encouraging us to formulate our own opinions,” she says. “Earning the BSN has gotten my wheels turning. It’s been rewarding and invigorating. I know one day when I do something that impacts communities around the world, I’ll have the ability to think critically and impact change—all things I’ve learned in school.”
A proud nurse
Karyn says her job requires leadership—and that her American Sentinel education has taught her to be a leader of excellence. “The university has given me that, and made it affordable,” she says. “They come alongside me and say, ‘We see the state of healthcare, and this is how we’re going to help you keep pursuing your education in spite of all that.’ I’ve been nothing but impressed.”
Every Sunday that she works, Karyn dresses in white scrubs to honor the roots of her profession. “When a younger nurse asks me why I’m in white, I tell them of the proud heritage of nursing that we all have,” she says. “To me, this has never been just a job. It’s a heritage of service. I’m proud and I want nurses around me to be proud too.”
Inspired by Karyn’s story? A BSN is ideal for nurses who want to expand their knowledge base, become more marketable and enjoy greater career stability and mobility. Specialized knowledge forms the foundation of nursing and 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 BSN, MSN 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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