Utah native Amanda Webb-Ellis has known from the time she was a young girl that she wanted to be a nurse or a doctor. After high school, she took some time off before starting college at Salt Lake Community College. “As a single mother, I was lucky to be selected to participate in the pilot, part-time ADN nursing program and graduated in 2007,” she says.
A start in the ICU
After one year at Intermountain Health, Amanda joined Pioneer Valley Hospital, where she worked in the intensive care unit, eventually becoming the ICU nurse educator. In 2014, she went to Davis Hospital and Medical Center as the emergency department case manager. She later transitioned to inpatient case manager. “My role was to look at patients who are admitted to the hospital to see if they meet federal criteria for hospital admission,” she says. As inpatient case manager, Amanda worked with patients in the ICU, NICU and telemetry unit.
Earning the BSN
In 2016—while working as a case manager for IASIS Healthcare—Amanda decided the time was right to start a BSN program. “For many years, I’ve wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner, but it took me 15 years to get there,” she says. “When I found out my employer had an educational partnership with American Sentinel, it worked for me. I was able to take one class at a time, still work and participate in my children’s lives.” She graduated in 2018.
Next goal: Nurse Practitioner
While in the BSN program, Amanda learned from her advisor that a new Nurse Practitioner program was rolling out. “I went right into it immediately after finishing the BSN because of my husband’s support and encouragement,” she says. Now just a few months from graduating, Amanda says she is glad she chose the program. “It has been a long road getting to this point, but I am stronger for traveling this road.”
Since starting the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner, she has worked for the Medical Review Institute of America as a quality specialist.
Solidifying her future
In just a few weeks, Amanda will graduate from American Sentinel with the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner. “My short-term goal is to care for patients in a family practice setting, and my long-term goal is to have my own practice in a rural area,” she says. “I would love to open something in an area where people wouldn’t have access to healthcare otherwise.”
One day: A doctorate
Since she was a teenager, Amanda has dreamed of going to Georgetown University—and she’s been eyeing its online Post-Master’s DNP program. “I plan to take the time off, learn to be a Nurse Practitioner and then go back to earn that degree,” she says. For now, Amanda has been offered a PRN position with one of the doctor’s offices she did a clinical with during graduate school. Whatever she does, she wants to stay close to the patients. “Overall, I want to stay close to them. They are why I do what I do.”
Inspired by Amanda’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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