Alan Sloas recently retired from the Department of Juvenile Justice where he covered 13 facilities ensuring care was appropriately provided, and policies and procedures followed. He graduated in May 2022 from Eastern Kentucky University’s online Master of Science -Rural Health Family Nurse Practitioner program. Alan recently shared his thoughts about his time as an online FNP student.
How has earning this degree changed or aided your career?
Obtaining the MSN to become an FNP is a process change in thinking and professional role. Basically, we are transforming from caregiving RNs to primary healthcare providers as FNP’s. The degree allows the nurse to assume more responsibility, taking the lead in preventive and primary care of our patients and communities.
What motivated you to get this degree?
I’ve been in healthcare for many years starting as an orderly on a peds floor, as a Hospital Corpsman in the US Navy, to working in many roles as a registered nurse. I have firsthand experience with the problems associated with the lack of available primary care in eastern Kentucky. I feel that it’s my responsibility to further my education and help build a healthier community.
You mention the need for accessibility to primary health care in eastern Kentucky. What are your plans after graduation?
I would like to stay in eastern Kentucky, ideally working in the primary care clinic system in Jackson, Kentucky. No matter where life has taken me, I’ve always returned to this area. I feel like I have an obligation to do something here at home.
What was your favorite part or the highlight of the program?
I’ve really enjoyed the clinical aspect. I like the provider-patient interaction and building that relationship. It also beats sitting around with your nose in a book!! Another thing is the change in both myself and my fellow students. The transformation from care giver to provider has become more noticeable.
How did the EKU Online faculty aid in your success?
All staff and faculty of EKU that I’ve interacted with have demonstrated a true concern for the student. It’s hard to build that relationship online, but I feel that EKU’s School of Nursing is successful in promoting the individualized experience. Everyone is so personable and seems to have a vested interest in the success of each student.
What did you find surprising about the program?
The relationship between the professor and student. It remains professional but there’s a relaxed attitude in presentation and interaction that promotes learning a large amount of important and complicated material. I know others in different online programs and not all are like EKU.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become an EKU Online student?
Do it! I chose EKU because of the reputation. I’ve worked with many nurses and nurse practitioners who have completed their BSN or MSN/FNP via the EKU online program. They were always better prepared to hit the road running, ready to meet the challenges out there, especially for the FNP’s. As crazy as it may sound, I wanted to be challenged…….and believe me I was!! It’s a tremendous responsibility providing care as an FNP, and I feel EKU has prepared me with the foundation for my new career.
My experience with EKU MSN/FNP online has been great! It is very challenging, but with the many knowledgeable and working nurse practitioners as professors who understand the challenges working students face, it is very doable. I’ve been able to plan around a busy schedule and that’s been a great plus. I’ll always promote EKU Online as the place to receive a quality, personalized education.
Being out of school for so long and then coming back, made me realize education is something to be cherished. I better appreciate my education. I would tell anyone, you are never too old to go back to school. However, make sure to choose a school where you can depend on faculty and staff. I made my choice based on the product Eastern puts out and the support they provide.
Are you ready to make a difference providing preventative and primary care to your community as an FNP?
Earn your online MSN degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. EKU’s CCNE-accredited MSN-FNP program prepares students for the challenges of being a primary care provider. Graduates have a 100% first attempt pass rate on national certification exams. Our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.
Complete the form to learn more about how EKU Online’s MSN-FNP program can help advance your career.