Gail Reichert is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She is the Director of the Women’s Health Care Center for Baptist Health Richmond in Kentucky. Gail completed her program online and recently shared her thoughts about her experience as an EKU Online student.
How has earning this degree changed or aided your career?
Having a DNP has helped me in the last few years of my career to have a sense of accomplishment as I earned the highest degree in nursing. The sense of accomplishment gave an added level of confidence and knowledge.
What motivated you to get this degree?
In my military and nursing career, I always established goals for myself. As an “older, new nurse graduate” and being commissioned into the military later in life on the same day, I set a goal to retire from the USAF after I reached Lt. Col. Almost 22 years later, I did just that. I waited three years after retirement when I responded to the persistent nudge to finish out my nursing career with a DNP degree in hand. I may have also responded to the competitive spirit that runs in my family. With a brother, two nieces, and two nephews with medical doctoral degrees, I believed it was my responsibility to further my education and seek to complete a doctoral degree in nursing. I also wanted to set an example for my 12 grandchildren of the importance of being a life-long learner.
What was your favorite part or the highlight of your time as an EKU Online student?
Connecting with fellow nurses and meeting Dr. Bradshaw who is a brilliant, innovative nurse and educator, a fellow military officer, and a wonderful mentor during my time at EKU. I enjoyed the discussion boards and learning from others about different perspectives on many topics related to nursing, especially the underserved.
How did the EKU Online faculty aid in your success?
Honestly, I was nervous at first about taking classes 100% online because I had never been in a long-term program that was online. When I got my master’s degree in 1998, PowerPoint was the new thing, and even then, I used transparencies to defend my master’s thesis. I actually enjoyed learning online as it fit into my schedule as I was working full-time. It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I never dreamed how helpful the online faculty would be; they were always professional and promoted adult learning. My professors were very responsive to questions even outside the online class. I felt supported in my goal to succeed as the professors wanted each of us to succeed as well.
What did you find surprising about the program?
The courses were rigorous, which they should be when obtaining one’s terminal degree. I believe consistent faculty support was encouraging. The support helped keep one on track and successful in completing the program and obtaining the degree. I appreciated that immensely. They gave us every opportunity to succeed.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become an EKU Online student?
Just go for it. Get registered, set personal and professional goals and do it. The sense of accomplishment and knowing you achieved your goal only helps one achieve other goals and dreams. If you are eligible for the GI Bill or some form of it. EKUs team to help get one enrolled in the program was great; they were very helpful. Their process was so streamlined.
I have several family members who graduated from EKU, and I am so glad that I am an alumnus too. EKU is an excellent learning institution.
Want to learn more about EKU’s Online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree?
Become an innovative leader in the nursing field by earning your online DNP. EKU is a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. Our CCNE-accredited DNP program offers a flexible, online format that provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.
Complete the form to learn more about how EKU Online’s DNP program can help advance your career.