EKU Online Nursing Administration student Marc Woods was named Eastern Kentucky University’s “2015 Outstanding Online Graduate Student.”
In her nomination, instructor Melanie Adams-Johnson, wrote, “Marc is an excellent example of a working professional who is dedicated to making a difference in the future of nursing practice.”
Marc is the first to tell you that his life is a little busy. As the assistant chief nurse executive for Eastern State Hospital, he has a very full schedule.
“My kids ask what I do all day, and I tell them I am either in a meeting or leading a meeting,” he jokes.
For more than 20 years, Woods has worked for the same organization, and it’s given him great opportunities. He has had plenty of on-the-job-training that led to promotions and greater responsibility. When the hospital became part of an academic medical center, however, he began thinking more seriously about an advanced degree.
“I knew I needed a formal piece to go along with all my informal training,” said Woods.
He chose EKU Online because the MSN in nursing administration fit his previous experience and future career goals. The biggest selling point was the fact that the program is 100% online.
“When you are working 60-hours per week, the last thing you can do is sit in a classroom,” Woods explained.
He’s been impressed with the level of support he’s received from the faculty and surprised at how the courses keep students engaged and connected. He was recently working at an employment fair, when two classmates, whom he had never met in person, recognized him. “I truly know these people. I’ve talked with them in video chats and responded to their discussion board posts. The course format really draws people into conversations,” he said.
Woods is certain his instructors know him, too, and they want to see him succeed. That support has been just as meaningful to him as the online format.
“You have to consider the flexibility of course work, but you also need to consider the investment the instructors will have in you. I can honestly say that in every single class the instructor has helped me, guided me and been in my corner,” said Woods.
The admiration is mutual. Adams-Johnson nominated Woods because he is a great example of how devoted online students can be and what they can accomplish.
“He intends to continue practicing in areas of nursing that provide care to vulnerable, underserved populations after graduation. He’s been a role model for other students,” she wrote.