The idea of becoming a nurse popped into Sandy Carrico’s head when she was young, but it didn’t resurface until much later. “I went straight from high school to serve in the Marine Corps for four years,” says Sandy, who is originally from Ohio. When she left the military, she went to college for a year and a half but struggled to decide on a major. She got married and put her education on the back burner for a while, moving around the country for her husband’s job (an active-duty Marine).
For the next decade, Sandy moved around the country, eventually landing back in Ohio in 2005. By then, she was a mother of two young children and life was busy, but a friend—who was a Licensed Vocational Nurse—encouraged her to think about going to school to become a nurse.
In 2005, Sandy started an Associate Degree Nursing program at Belmont Technical College in St. Clairsville, Ohio, graduating in 2008. She became a Nurse Aide at East Ohio Regional Hospital and worked there until 2010, when she and her family moved to California. After getting settled in their new home, Sandy finally took the next important step toward working as a nurse: she sat for the NCLEX.
Sandy’s first job as a Registered Nurse was at an Alzheimer’s facility in 2012. Later that year, she joined High Desert Medical Center, where she still works today, as a medical-surgical RN. She transferred into the Emergency Department in 2015.
Inspired to earn the BSN
In late 2019, Sandy was encouraged by her director at High Desert to explore the American Sentinel University SIMPath® BSN program. “I’ve thought about getting the BSN for a long time, but between work and family, it wasn’t something I could ever fit in,” she says. Sandy and her supervisor both liked the sound of the self-paced nature of the SIMPath program and decided to start the program together.
The SIMPath® program met her needs. “It was perfect for my life, and I planned around my work schedule,” she says. In the midst of her BSN studies, Sandy became the clinical coordinator of the Emergency Department. Yet, she was still able to continue her studies. “This program works really well for those who are self-motivated and busy. It allowed me to take on a new position and keep my life going. And you can move through it as fast as you want to go.”
Looking to the future
In August 2020, Sandy completed the BSN Powered by SIMPath®. Having the credential will help her in whatever path she pursues, and she thinks that one day, that might include management or travel nursing.
Whatever she does in her career, Sandy now has both the education and experience she needs. “There’s a feeling of job security in having this degree now,” she says. “No matter where I go or what I do, I’ll feel confident knowing that I have the credentials. With this SIMPath® program, I learned a lot and was able to achieve a goal I’ve had for a really long time. I definitely recommend this program to others who want to just jump in and go for it.”
Inspired by Sandy’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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