Emilee Kidd first became interested in nursing as a high school student who completed a Certified Nurse Aide program in high school. “I really enjoyed getting exposed to that in high school, and so after I graduated in 2001, I earned a Practical Nursing certificate at Idaho State University,” says Emilee, who grew up in both Utah and Idaho. She started her career in pediatric oncology and pediatric neuroscience trauma before moving around the country to Arizona, Missouri and Minnesota for her husband’s medical schooling and residency.
Becoming a registered nurse
While in Arizona, Emilee earned the ADN and started her RN career working in a hospice care facility. “I found that I really loved hospice, because it was all about treating symptoms and helping patients feel better and getting to know their families,” she says. After having twins in 2011—making her a mother of four—Emilee took a break from the workforce to focus on her family. But when her youngest two headed off to kindergarten, she decided that she too would go to school.
“By this time, we were living in Montana, where we live now, and I started an RN to BSN program at Montana State University Billings,” she says. “I knew that to get where I wanted to go, I needed a bachelor’s degree. I’d been thinking that for a while, and with my children in school and our life schedule getting a little more predictable, the timing was finally right.” Emilee graduated with the BSN in 2018.
Continuing her education
At the urging of a BSN professor-turned-mentor, Emilee started researching Nurse Practitioner programs in 2019. “My professor was a doctorate student at American Sentinel and mentioned the school as one I should look into for the Nurse Practitioner program for myself,” she says. “I liked that the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program was flexible and that I wouldn’t have to travel to complete it. There were many things I found appealing about the program and setup.” Emilee applied to American Sentinel and started the MSN NP program in January 2019. She will graduate in 2021.
A rewarding program
For Emilee, the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner is appealing because she wants to provide patient care at a deeper level. “This program so far has been great,” she says. “I’ve expanded my knowledge about things like prescribing medications and assessing patients beyond what I have done as an RN. My preceptorships are pushing me, and I’m enjoying that.”
Planning her future
Currently, Emilee works at Montana State University Billings, her alma mater, in the Student Health Services area as an RN. As she nears the culmination of the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at American Sentinel, she plans to stay there until her children are older. But she’s also thinking about what she’ll do next.
“Ultimately, my goal is to work palliative and hospice care as a Nurse Practitioner,” she says. “Hospice is something I love so much, because you can make such a big difference in the lives of your patients and their families.” When her four children are a little older, Emilee hopes to become a primary care provider.
First goal: APRN
In late summer 2021, Emilee will sit for the Advanced Practice RN exam to become a licensed Nurse Practitioner. In her program at American Sentinel, she feels ready to do so. “The classes in this program are set up so well and very organized,” she says. “I feel like everyone at American Sentinel wants you to succeed. They’ve given me the foundation to pass the exam and start my career as a Nurse Practitioner.”
Inspired by Emilee’s 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 nurse practitioner. 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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