The primary motivator that led Leslie Miccio into nursing was necessity. The native of Puerto Rico grew up in poverty and watched her mother struggle, and swore to herself that she would do her best to not put her own children through the same challenges.
After moving to the U.S., marrying at 20, having two children, and divorcing by 25, Leslie started her nursing journey. “I wanted to be able to take care of my children and myself without the assistance of anyone else,” she says. Leslie earned the Associate Degree of Nursing in 2004 started her career at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, New York, in medical-surgical.
A BSN after 16 years
In 2018, Leslie decided it was time to advance her education. “I felt that an associate degree was sufficient when I started my career, and for a while, it was!” she says. “But I realized that in order to move up or in any direction, I needed another degree too, so I wanted to get a BSN.”
Leslie discovered American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences when she learned that her hospital funded nurses going back to school and had an educational partnership with the college. “It was honestly an easy decision,” she says. “They made everything easy and comfortable. I felt safe asking questions and I loved what they were offering in terms of the structure, program and affordability.” Leslie started the BSN in 2018 and after two years of hard work, graduated in March 2020
Onward and upward
Today, Leslie is continuing her educational journey in the MSN Nursing Education at American Sentinel, which she will complete in 2021.
“I loved the BSN program at American Sentinel so I’m going to keep going,” says Leslie, who is currently the diabetes unit champion at Orange Regional. Teaching, she adds, has long been an interest for her next chapter in her career. “My patients are the greatest joy, and there’s nothing more rewarding than helping someone who comes into the hospital scared leave feeling confident about turning around their health.”
When she finishes the MSN Nursing Education in two years, Leslie wants to become a full-time diabetes educator. “As I’m getting older, I’m thinking about ways I can contribute to my profession aside from floor nursing and I think I can really make a difference as an educator,” she says. “I’ve precepted many nurses and really love it. I think I could be a great teacher, both for nurses and for patients on how to manage their disease.”
A recommended program
Leslie recommends American Sentinel and its programs for nurses and healthcare professionals to “anyone who will listen.”
“I truly believe in the quality of the education that American Sentinel offers,” she says. “My boss recently told me that I sounded professional when I was describing something to a coworker and told me I’d gotten a lot out of my BSN, and that meant a lot to me.”
With her MSN underway, Leslie is eager to continue to strengthen her resume. “I’m excited to return to American Sentinel. The staff and instructors have been nurturing and helpful. They know that we are people and not just students. They want us to succeed.”
Inspired by Leslie’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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