Today we are joined by alumna Amy LePard, MSN ‘20, RN, RNC-OB, who graduated with her master’s in nursing from the Nurse Educator concentration in May 2020.
Q: Hi Amy. Thank you for joining us today! Let’s dive into your story with an easy question, why you want to become a nurse?
A: Thank you for having me, it’s a privilege to be here. I have always loved to take care of people. It was my desire to be in the healthcare field where I could assist in bringing new life into the world daily.
Q: What were your top reasons for pursuing your Nurse Educator degree?
A: I really enjoy working with students and believed they needed more positive role models who are still passionate about the nursing profession. I hope to help the profession grow by inspiring and motivating the next generation of nurses. Additionally, in order to obtain a permanent teaching position at a university, earning my master’s degree was necessary. I wanted to teach someday in the classroom as well as the clinical setting.
Q: What made Kent State’s Nurse Educator degree more desirable than other schools?
A: I was searching for a highly reputable university respected in the nursing profession. It was important to me that the university I chose was close to my home, even though the program was 100% online, in case I needed to schedule a meeting with my professors to discuss questions, concerns or difficulties in person.
Q: Why did you ultimately choose Kent State?
A: I chose Kent State because it is very respected in our community.
Q: What did you most enjoy about your Nurse Educator degree program?
A: The best part of my program was the Practicum experience. I was able to work alongside two different faculty members in the nursing program, and I obtained 150 hours of experience as a nurse educator in the university setting. Receiving that hands-on experience as an educator in the college setting was so encouraging as it reaffirmed this was the path I wanted to take in my career!
Q: How did you manage both working and being a Kent State graduate student?
Organization was absolutely essential because I was teaching clinicals two days a week, working at the hospital one day a week, and taking two classes per semester. My success also was made possible through the support of my amazing husband and family. They picked up the slack around the house. My daughters, Alli and Molly, would even come into the office after dinner so we could do our homework together.
Q: Where are you currently working and what does your role involve?
A: I currently work for Summa Health System where I have been employed as an RN for more than 20 years. I am a labor and delivery nurse and love just being ‘nurse Amy’ sometimes. When I arrive on the unit, it’s not uncommon for my co-workers ask if I am ‘nurse Amy’ or ‘teacher Amy’ that day. I enjoy working with my friends and introducing my students to these wonderful nurses.
I also accepted at job at Kent State University Geauga campus in January as a nursing professor. I teach Maternal Newborn Nursing and Community nursing.
Q: How have you applied the lessons you’ve learned in the Nurse Educator degree to your nursing career?
A: I have learned so many updates in nursing, both research and best practice, that I have begun sharing with my nursing peers. I have also been able to use many of the active learning techniques when teaching clinically.
Q: What advice do you have for other nurses considering getting their Nurse Educator degree?
A: This is a great degree if you plan to work at the university or in a staff-development setting. It is a must for those who desire advancing their career path into higher education.
Q: What would you like to say to people considering coming back to school at Kent State University College of Nursing?
A: You will never regret a degree from Kent State University. They are highly respected and the best nursing program in northeast Ohio.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share about your Kent State graduate student experience?
A: I have had the privilege to learn from some excellent professors at Kent State, including Marcy Caplin, Tina Saunders, and Melissa Dyer. Their experiences and knowledge are generously shared through their lessons.
Learn how a graduate degree from Kent State can help you develop these skills and achieve your professional goals! Learn more by visiting https://bit.ly/2R7EC0o.