The Master of Science in Nursing (ME-MSN) Non-Nurse program is designed for students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in areas of study outside of nursing and are seeking new careers as registered nurses (RNs). The program, rated among the top in the country, prepares students for licensure as RNs while integrating graduate-level study that prepares them for positions as clinical nurse leaders (CNLs).
Tell us a little about your program at the OC Campus?
The Master’s Entry Program at the USF Orange County Campus has provided me with a unique opportunity to enter the nursing profession. I have not only completed the requirements to become a licensed bedside nurse but also, gained a much-needed mindset with which to approach the care I will provide my patients, that of the Clinical Nurse Leader. While the program is accelerated, rigorous and ever-changing, it has been the community developed between and among students, faculty, and staff at the intimate Orange County Campus that has eased the rigor and constant change.
When do you graduate?
I will be graduating in December 2017. Coming up real soon… but first the HESI Exit Exams and NCLEX!
Why did you decide to pursue this program at USF?
Orange County Campus
My desire to apply and enroll in the MEPN Program was a lot to do with the social justice based mission of USF. I appreciated and resonated with the approach taken in educating students. I originally applied to the Hilltop campus program, but once the OC program was approved (this happened after the deadline), I had the option to apply to Orange County (OC). Given I grew up in Anaheim, my fear of the cost of living in SF and being closer to family and my partner made my choice of the OC campus easier.
Javier Moreno transforms to a CNL
What is special about this USF program?
The special part of the MEPN program is the CNL component. While the Clinical Nurse Leader role was new to me when I started applying to nursing programs, I realized that the unique role the CNL plays within the care team was something that I had a lot of experience with in my previous professional roles: identifying gaps, developing solutions and bringing people together to make this happen.
What is the best thing about studying at the Orange County Campus?
Catching waves at sunset at the OC campus
Smaller is better. Given the campus is growing, but still pretty small, you get to meet and interact with everyone regularly: all your faculty, administration, students from other cohorts. I am energized by interacting with people and this has facilitated the development of some strong nursing school relationships. The OC campus is ultimately a commuter campus with students coming from throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area (San Fernando Valley, Inland Empire, and South Orange County) so often the campus is solo and a nice place to study, too.
Tell me what your average day looks like at the OC Campus?
We have normally had academic courses 1-2 days a week each semester, as such those are long days given we are taking between 3-5 courses each semester. You better have your batteries recharged because you go from one subject to the next and your brain has to make that shift quick! Throw in a skills lab into the mix
too. It gets especially confusing when you have the same professor for two to three of the courses, but we make do! For many classes, you are expected to have done all the reading ahead of time, so this requires some good skimming or really good time management. There is a coffee shop at the hospital, which we share the campus with, and sometimes during our bathroom breaks, we run over to get our caffeine re-charge. Once classes are over, there is often study groups for tests or group projects (lots of group projects in this program) since it is a commuter campus and those that live further away prefer not to drive to campus if not necessary. On days that we don’t have academic courses on campus, we will have a clinical rotation at one of the partner hospitals, dependent on the rotation we are on– time to put that knowledge to the test! Some of us, myself included, have taken jobs as nursing assistants at local hospitals to get more experience, too. At the end of any day,
be it classes, clinicals or work, my mind is often racing and I make an effort to squeeze in six hours
Tell me a fun fact about being a student at the OC Campus?
During down time and to unplug while on campus, you can turn any of the classrooms or lounges into a Netflix break given the Apple TVs and projectors in each room. This is also helpful when watching videos on YouTube to make sure you are performing skills correctly.
What do you hope to achieve after your program in the short term and in the long term?
After I complete the program, I intend to join a nursing residency program at a Children’s Hospital in Orange County, Los Angeles, Seattle or Denver– I’m casting a wide net. Assuming that would take me through year one post graduation, I do hope to work in education at some point and would like to teach clinical or simulation for pre-licensure students. I intend to work bedside for several years, but the prospects of a DNP are not out of the question, after a few years of experience that is.
What are some of the things you have been able to do as a student ambassador for this program?
As a student ambassador, I have had the most fun when answering questions for prospective or admitted students, be it via email and in person at various conferences. The unique opportunity to get a personal narrative of my experience as a student in this program is hopefully instrumental in guiding students in the direction that they desire. Ultimately each student will shape their own experience, but at the least, they will have an idea from someone going through it.
To learn more about what it really is like to be completing the Masters of Science in Nursing for Non Nurses Program at the School of Nursing and Health Professions within the University of San Francisco please email firstname.lastname@example.org.