In May, Ashley Jones graduated with her master's in nursing degree in nursing education. That alone is something to be proud of, but the accomplishment also earned her another special accolade - she is the first person to graduate with three degrees from The Presbyterian School of Nursing.
In 2007, Ashley first donned a cap and gown at Queens after she completed the associate's degree program in nursing. In 2009, she walked the stage yet again after earning her bachelor's in nursing.
Here's a look at what inspired Ashley to continue her studies in The Presbyterian School of Nursing.
Why did you choose Queens University?
I chose Queens University initially because I had been to summer camp at Queens for many years and liked the campus and environment. I also received a scholarship. I chose to stay at Queens because I enjoyed the small classes, and the helpful faculty.
Have you always known you wanted to be a nurse?
I stumbled upon nursing in college. I wanted to be a trauma surgeon from the time I could talk. During my first year of college I decided that I was not sure if I wanted to spend forever in college and graduate with a lot of debt. I liked the options that nursing allows - I can work in any field I desire. I also feel as a nurse I am able to interact more with the patients then if I were a physician.
What was the best part of your education at Queens University?
The best part of my education at Queens would be the wonderful friends that I have made. They are supportive of everything I do. We have spent hundreds of hours in the library together stressing over papers, etc. The small classes in the graduate program at Queens have been amazing. I think it gives the faculty an opportunity to truly understand the students' point of view, and allows for more open discussion.
Have any of your instructors given you good advice?
The most important advice any instructor has given me was to continue my education. and to belong to a professional nursing organization.
Tell me about your MSN project.
For my project I worked with Mass Casualty Incident Preparedness using High Fidelity Simulation in Nursing Education. I chose this topic because as an Emergency Department Nurse I understand the reality that a Mass Casualty event, natural or manmade, will eventually occur in every community. With the large banking industry in Charlotte and two nuclear plants in the area, a manmade mass casualty event is a true threat. I wanted to find out what type of disaster preparedness is actually taught in nursing schools and if new graduate nurses are prepared to handle a Mass Casualty Incident. It was also important to know what challenges exist in bringing disaster preparedness to nursing curricula. Research suggests an excellent way to incorporate disaster preparedness is through patient simulation. Fortunately at Queens the nursing students have the latest and greatest in patient simulation at the Patient Simulation Lab on the 5th Street Campus. I developed an organophosphate toxicity (Sarin gas) simulation to be used with senior nursing students in their clinical rotations with the high fidelity simulators.
Do you plan to pursue any other degrees?
I do plan to pursue another degree; I have been looking into an Emergency Medicine NP Program in GA, or perhaps a DNP.
Would you recommend your degree pathway (RN to MSN) to other nursing students? Why or why not?
I would recommend the RN to MSN program to other students. Every nurse should continue into a BSN program. If the student knows that they would like a MSN, then the RN to MSN is the way to go! It allows you to finish a little earlier then doing the two programs separately. Age or experience shouldn't deter the student from the RN to MSN program.
What are your future career plans?
I would like to obtain an advanced practice degree and I plan to continue working as an Emergency Department nurse and a clinical instructor. I would like to try critical care transport nursing in the future as well as classroom instruction.
In addition to obtaining her nursing degrees from Queens, Ashley has also been employed by the Presbyterian School of Nursing as an adjunct clinical instructor since 2009. We wish her the best in achieving her future goals!
Where are you from? Shelby
Where are you working?
Cleveland Regional Medical Center in the Emergency Department. Been working the whole time. Charge nurse.