When Vicky Turner decided to earn her DNP with EKU Online, she didn’t expect much to change. She had a job she liked as an acute care nurse at a respected research university. She was a lifelong Kentucky resident, and she had been with the same employer for 20 years.
Earning another degree was a personal goal. She had recruited and hired nurses over the course of her career, and she liked what EKU graduates had to offer.
“EKU has such a great reputation for both the quality of nurses their programs produce and their board passage rates. The people who came from EKU were always strong,” she said.
In fact, Vicky earned her associate’s degree in nursing from EKU. “Why would I go anywhere else? I started here, and I should finish here,” she remembered thinking.
Throughout her time as a DNP student, her coursework laid the foundation for newfound interests. Opening herself up to those experiences ultimately led to a life-changing conversation.
“The public health policy course prompted me to become a stronger advocate for issues that pertain to heath care and health care delivery,” Vicky remembered. In March 2016, she attended the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) health policy conference in Washington, D.C.
There she met a fellow lobbyist with some similar interests who worked for the healthcare partner Mednax in Florida. As they chatted, the woman asked Vicky if she had a doctorate and if she would ever consider making a career change. She then wrote her email address on a napkin.
Initially, Vicky did not give the conversation much thought. Several weeks later, however, she decided it might be time to explore her options. She found the napkin and sent an email.
In less than a week, she was talking with a vice president at Mednax who was interviewing for her own replacement. A few days later, she learned she was one of two candidates chosen for an on-site interview.
It was obvious that they liked what they saw in her. “The founder of the company personally offered me the job before I left,” said Vicky.
In her new role as vice president of the advanced practitioner program, she is responsible for nearly 1,000 nurse practitioners, midwives and clinical nurses across the country. “When I started the DNP program, I had no idea I would end up with a position like this,” she said.
Vicky says all of her EKU courses were beneficial and provided a great foundation for her current position. The health care economics and finance course has been especially helpful as she makes financial decisions, but it doesn’t stop there. “So much of what I have learned, I use every day. The leadership course has been invaluable. I also draw on the health policy course daily. It’s critical to what I’m doing now,” she said.
She credits her success to her EKU instructors. “I’ve been given solid direction all the way though. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to pursue advanced education and very grateful to the faculty for what they have provided. I’ll always be grateful for that,” she said.