When Celine Smith was a young girl in New Jersey, she didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up. But when her younger sister was diagnosed with kidney disease, Celine was influenced by everything she was going through.
“It made me want to do something where I could help people in my career,” says Celine, who graduated in 2010. She attended Rowan College at Burlington County and completed a Licensed Practical Nurse program. Her first job in healthcare was at an assisted living facility, where she stayed for two years.
Back for the RN
Celine decided to return to school at Rowan College to become a Registered Nurse. “My dream had always been to have ‘RN’ behind my name, so I decided I wasn’t done with school,” she says. She graduated in 2018 and worked in long-term care for Acuity Healthcare. Her goal, however, was to work in the intensive care unit, so when the opportunity arose, Celine jumped at it. “I love the energy in the ICU, even though it can be high stress, because there’s so much to learn. It’s hard to lose patients, but you feel a sense of pride when they improve and get to go home.” Since 2020, Celine has worked at Doylestown Hospital.
Driven to do more
In 2019, Celine began thinking about furthering her education with a BSN degree. “I’ve always wanted the bachelor’s degree, but in today’s world, it’s almost a requirement that you have one in nursing,” she says. When a coworker told her to consider American Sentinel, where she was also a student, Celine liked what she discovered. “I started a month later,” she says. “I had been looking around, but American Sentinel just felt right.”
Celine started out in the BSN Powered by SIMPath®, but decided to switch into the traditional BSN program when COVID-19 hit. “I was enrolled in three classes in one semester initially and I just felt I should take it a class at a time rather than push through it. It’s been great. The professors are wonderful, the eight-week terms are perfect and I really enjoy the discussion boards and papers.”
Setting more goals
Celine will finish the BSN in October 2021. Her next goal: becoming CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) certified. “I love the ICU still, but I’m open to exploring my options,” she says. “As I got into the BSN, I started getting more exposed to leadership concepts and I really liked that. I feel a lot more confident in my research skills and my knowledge about evidence-based practice and topics like that.”
As she nears completion of the BSN, Celine says she couldn’t have done it without the support of her husband and the American Sentinel staff. “I have been so impressed and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to someone else,” she says. “The last year has been so challenging, but my husband kept me going and the staff was amazing. American Sentinel is one of the best schools in the country for nurses. It’s affordable and offers high-quality classes and everyone there cares about students’ success.”
Inspired by Celine’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.
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