Even when he was young, Andres Bagot knew that he wanted to become a nurse. “My career began as a teenager when I was a nursing assistant,” says Andres, who was born in Guyana and raised in Barbados from the time he was a teen. After graduating from a general nursing program at Barbados Community College in 2009, Andres started his career at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the main Barbados hospital, in the general surgery unit, a stepdown unit from the surgical intensive care unit.
A move to the United States
In 2017, Andres moved to the United States in hopes of growing professionally and personally. “I was 32 years old and I was eager to advance my career in nursing,” he says. He arrived in Pennsylvania and was hired at Geisinger, a system with 13 hospitals throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey—including the only level 1 trauma center in central Pennsylvania. Andres joined a surgical floor once again. “This is a great place to work. There’s a lot of opportunity to grow.”
Back to school
Geisinger encouraged Andres to strengthen his skills by furthering his education, in fact. “I really had been wanting to go back to school since I came to the United States,” he says. “After we got settled, the opportunity presented itself.”
Andres started his research for the right BSN program in early 2019. “Several colleagues at Geisinger recommended American Sentinel University to me, and I liked what I saw,” he says. The accreditation, online structure and flexibility all appealed. Andres started the BSN program first in April 2019 and made plans to continue on for an MSN Nursing Education thereafter.
Goal: Contribute to nursing knowledge
Why an MSN? “My goal has always been to contribute to nursing knowledge,” he says. “I’ve always felt that anything the mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” With a wife and three young children and a full-time job, the pursuit of education hasn’t been easy, but Andres says he is learning every day to strive for work-life balance. “Being fairly new to the American healthcare system, my classes are helping me understand how it all works and improve my assessment skills. I know I’m becoming a competent nurse.”
Eyes on the future
Now over a decade into his nursing career, Andres says he is thinking about the possibilities for his future. “I’m not set on one path, but I love the idea of becoming a clinical educator or working in professional development for Geisinger,” says Andres. “I’m someone who loves to learn, read and grow. Becoming a nurse educator would allow me to do that.”
Although Andres is content where he is at Geisinger, he’s excited to secure his future with advanced credentials. “I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up,” he says, adding that he hopes to graduate with his MSN Nursing Education by early 2022. “But one thing I love about nursing is that it is vast in terms of the options. I’m open minded about everything and very open to the possibilities.”
Inspired by Andres’ story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like nursing education, informatics, nursing management and organizational leadership, infection control, or case management. 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.
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