Two-time Kent State University College of Nursing alumna Amanda Bettis, MSN ‘19, APRN, PNP-PC, describes herself as the caring and nurturing one in her family. A choice to attend vocational school as a junior in high school for Health Services allowed her to obtain her STNA before graduating. That experience convinced Bettis that she was on the right life path. Today she joins us to share her experience as a student in the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner master’s concentration.  

Q: Good afternoon, Amanda. Thank you for setting aside time to join us! To get things started, please share why it was important to you to obtain your master’s degree?

A: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to share my story with you. Obtaining my advanced degree was important to me because I already had a solid foundation in nursing, and I was ready to expand upon that knowledge base. Additionally, I believed returning to school would allow me to make more of an impact on patients’ lives as a health care provider. Finally, I wanted to set an example for my children and co-workers. I knew that by receiving this degree, the sky would be the limit!

Q: What made Kent State’s Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner master’s concentration more desirable than other schools?

A: I had heard that Kent State’s program was difficult, but I wanted that challenge. I did not want an easier program. I was seeking a program that would prepare me to be the most successful practitioner in my career. Ultimately, I knew Kent State was a good school. I graduated with my BSN in 2008 and had full confidence that returning here for my graduate degree was the right choice for me.

Q: What did you most enjoy about your concentration program?

A: I liked that most of the program was online, but there was enough on-campus involvement to feel engaged. Throughout my program, I felt honest and genuine support from Ann Ancona, the concentration coordinator, and my other instructors.

Q: How did you manage both working and being a Kent State graduate student?

A: I worked full-time on the night shift throughout my entire program. I depended a lot on my family, my husband and my support system. They took on many of my responsibilities at home and helped care for my children which allowed me the ability to focus intently on my studies. 

Q: Where are you currently working and what does your role involve?

A: I am a pediatric nurse practitioner in a private practice. I work alongside a pediatric neurologist. Every day I collaborate with the physician to manage many patient cases.

Q: How have you applied the lessons you’ve learned in the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner master’s concentration to your nursing career?

A: Kent State’s Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program helped me to establish a great foundation for my career as a nurse practitioner. The best lesson I learned was how to utilize my collaborating physician to gain the most knowledge in my specialty.

Q: What advice do you have for other nurses who are considering getting their advanced nursing degree?

A: Give yourself enough time as a bedside nurse. That experience is not something that you can learn from a college program. It is important to have a strong foundation. Being an excellent bedside nurse is what sets nurse practitioners apart from other providers. 

Q: Amanda, thank you for all of your insights today. Before we leave, what would you like to say to people considering coming back to school at Kent State University College of Nursing?

A: It’s been a privilege to share my journey. To my fellow nurses, once you make the decision to begin an advanced degree program, never give up. It is not easy, but trust me, you do not want it to be easy. You want to be prepared, and Kent State fully prepares you. Find support and you will make it through!