When you ask Kitty Still about her credentials, she will explain that she is a registered nurse and a C.E.A.L. (Certified Executive for Assisted Living), but she will also point out that she has been a wife to Rob for 34 years and mother to eight amazing children – five boys and three girls. After homeschooling her children for 18 years, it was Rob who encouraged Still to pursue her next dream.
“I love people and love to care for them. Initially, I thought about pursuing teaching, but my advisor at the community college I was attending at the time, encouraged me to also consider nursing,” Still said. “It was an immediate connection to who I am as a person and the endless possibilities of being able to make a difference in people’s lives. I went on to complete my LPN to RN associate degree from Kent State University Geauga in August 2022.”
But Still was hungry for more knowledge, more personal growth and more opportunities to make a difference. While she knew she could do that without furthering her degree, she felt called to level up professionally.
“I wanted to obtain my bachelor’s degree because my children and husband are watching me. As a mom and wife, especially at 53 years old, I know I can inspire them and those around me to keep going. Plus, they are excited to see me succeed,” exclaimed Still. “This is another step in my professional pathway, so it’s essential, but it’s one more achievement that I am looking forward to obtaining in my trajectory for becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse/Educator.”
Still was drawn to Kent State University College of Nursing when she decided to enroll in the RN-to-BSN program due to its familiarity and reputation.
“Kent State College of Nursing has an amazing reputation, and it was a very fluid transition from my ADN program, which I needed with my busy professional and family life,” stated Still. “Additionally, Kent State was more affordable than other schools I had considered. Continuing with Kent State for my BSN creates a shared history and longevity that will benefit me in all that I do.”
Now enrolled in the RN-to-BSN 100% online program, Still enjoys the flexibility of her classes and the quick responses from her instructors.
“I appreciate the help and encouragement when I reach out to my teachers for assistance. They are amazing. Every class has been so informative, teaching me new concepts and thoughts that I can apply to my practice now,” she commented. “This program is attainable. Anyone with a desire to pursue their RN-to-BSN can do it with some determination.”
While continuing her education, Still works full-time in the UH Critical Care unit. She pointed out that balancing work with student life can be a process, but one she is learning to balance more efficiently as time goes on.
“I am in continual communication with my professors if there is a delay on an assignment submission, but I strive to have my time set aside every week in the early morning to get my work completed,” Still explained. “I maintain a positive attitude knowing that I am going to glean much from what I am doing, so it is fuel to keep me going, especially after a long week! My family is super supportive in helping me to stop and study when I need to, but early morning is my go-to time.”
Although Still is not slated to graduate from her program until spring 2024, she has already begun applying the lessons she is learning to her everyday practice.
“Everything I have learned in Kent State’s RN-to-BSN program has given me a new tool or concept that has reinforced the rules and regulations we need to abide by in our scope of practice as nurses,” stated Still. “Making these connections helps me to apply classroom lessons to my everyday practice as an RN and helps me to become a professional.”
Still hopes her story inspires other RN’s to take the next step to advance their degrees.
“I want other RNs to know they, too, have all the access they need at their fingertips. Kent State’s support base is broad, the faculty team is expansive, and your excitement to grow in your profession is reflected in their excitement to help you get there,” emphasized Still. “When you apply to Kent State, an advisor will be there every step of the way helping you to understand transfer credits, seek out financial assistance and plan out your course load. Age, background and demographics do not need to limit you! Be excited and take the next step! Lives are waiting to be changed by you!”
In conclusion, Still calls her time at Kent State College of Nursing the best experience ever.
“I am so proud to be a Kent State Golden Flash Nursing student! I have had to work very hard to get where I am and where I am going. I am 100% thankful and excited to be a Golden Flash! Thank you, Kent State! I hope to one day become a faculty member here so I too, can shape and encourage the next generation of nurses! Still is already applying for Kent State College of Nursing’s master’s degree program. She hopes to enroll immediately after graduating with her BSN.