Alumnus Nicholas Naugle BSN ‘04, RN, CNOR, knew a graduate degree would help him continue to advance his career. Upon choosing to enroll in Kent State University College of Nursing’s Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration & Health Systems Leadership, Naugle discovered he felt as though he had never left the university. Today, Naugle shares his graduate degree experiences with us.
Q: Welcome Nicholas. Thank you for joining us today! Let’s begin with why you wanted to become a nurse.
A: Thank you! I’m so glad I have this opportunity to talk with you today. I knew I wanted to help people. During my junior and senior years of high school, I had narrowed down my career choices to either being a priest or a nurse. After much thought and prayer, I realized that nursing was my path. Before this time my grandfather had spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital and I saw the great care he received from the nurses. It inspired me to want to be a nurse.
Q: What were your top three reasons for pursuing your Nursing Administration & Health Systems Leadership degree?
A: I will be honest, the first reason was to advance my career. My career path was headed down the nurse management path. The assistant nurse manager (ANM) in my department was looking to retire and I aspired to fill that position, so it led me to begin the program at Kent State.
As time went on, the program has followed my career path and has helped me grow within my position. I ended up becoming the ANM and since then a nurse manager in a different area.
Finally, I have three children and wanted to show them that hard work and perseverance really do pay off in the end. I have had two difficult life events happen throughout this program, but still worked through them.
Q: Why was obtaining your Nursing Administration & Health Systems Leadership degree important to you?
A: At first it was important for me to continue the career path, but as time went on the Nursing Administration and Health Systems Leadership degree has helped me grow professionally each step of the way.
Q: What made Kent State’s Nursing Administration & Health Systems Leadership degree more desirable than other schools?
A: I researched a number of programs with a leadership tract, and Kent State’s program seemed attainable with a full-time job and family responsibilities. Again, I needed a program that I could do on my own time (nights and weekends).
Q: Why did you ultimately choose Kent State?
A: Kent State is home to me. I received my undergrad here and it felt right to come back and pursue my master’s degree here.
Q: What did you most enjoy about your Nursing Administration & Health Systems Leadership degree program?
A: The NAHSL program has helped me to look at myself as a leader, as well as looking at those around me and their leadership style. The program itself has fallen in line with my career growth. We would learn about something in class, and the next week I would face it in real life, or alternatively, I would face it in real life and a couple weeks later, we would learn about that very same scenario. The classes gave us the opportunity to talk to peers going through the same situations.
Q: How did you manage both working and being a Kent State graduate student?
A: Time management and a very supportive family and work team.
Q: Where are you currently working and what does your role involve?
A: I am at the Northeast Ohio Health Systems Cleveland VA Medical Center in the GI department. I am the Nurse Manager. I have held this position for more than a year. I have a supervisory role over twenty full-time staff and about six PRN staff members.
Q: How have you applied the lessons you’ve learned in the Nursing Administration & Health Systems Leadership degree to your nursing career?
A: In many areas I have applied the lessons I’ve learned in my career. I have used principles taught in human resource issues in my department, employee evaluations, staffing levels and day to day operations.
Q: What advice do you have for other nurses considering getting their Nursing Administration & Health Systems Leadership degree?
A: Do it! There is never a perfect time to advance your degree, but you can make it work with good time management and supportive people around you. There are challenges for sure, but it is really rewarding in the end.
Q: What would you like to say to people considering coming back to school at Kent State University College of Nursing?
A: I have found it to be like I never left. The advisors were very helpful and answered questions quickly. The only time I had to alter my work schedule was for the Practicum experience.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share about your Kent State graduate student experience?
A: Take the opportunity and advance your degree and remember once a Flash, always a Flash.