Lacy Smith, a Texas native, considers herself a Cowboy for life. For her, choosing to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Oklahoma State University was an easy decision.
The online program, which launched in Fall 2017 and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), provides students with a convenient and flexible option to complete their bachelor’s degree in as little as one year. With this degree, graduates are qualified for leadership roles in a variety of healthcare environments.
Advancing and enriching her career is exactly what Smith plans to do after she walks across the stage with her diploma next fall. She currently works as a delivery/charge registered nurse (RN) for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at OU Children’s Hospital as well as a staff nurse at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital. After obtaining her BSN, Smith plans to apply for a master’s or doctoral program so she can become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
“My dream job is to be a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care (CPNP-AC) as a cardiac intensivist, which means I’d care for infants and children following cardiac surgery,” Smith said. “I’ve always loved medicine. With nursing, I get to do it all. I never have the exact same day, and I love the challenge. I’m a caregiver at heart. I’ve always been most passionate about my patients and their families. I see them on their best and worst days, and I always want them to remember the care they received in a positive light, even in a bad situation.”
When Smith decided she wanted to complete her nursing degree so she could achieve her professional goals, it was important to find a program that accommodated her busy schedule. The full-time or part-time curriculum option offered at OSU was a huge selling point.
“The program is extremely flexible, which is necessary for someone like myself who has a husband, two jobs and no extra time,” Smith said.
In addition to flexibility, Smith sought an online learning experience that would be enhanced by personalized attention from qualified and invested faculty. That’s what she found in the OSU College of Education, Health and Aviation.
“The nursing faculty truly want to see students succeed, and they make themselves readily available to help,” Smith said. “This makes the whole experience.”
As most would attest, communication in an online program significantly impacts student satisfaction.
“Our faculty communicate extremely well, especially considering it’s an online program,” Smith said. “They offer a variety of ways to share information and foster relationships with our peers, which allows us to be successful. It’s easy to have a positive experience when you feel your efforts are not only noticed, but also celebrated.”
Ultimately, the mission of the RN to BSN program is to prepare nurses to practice professional nursing that meets the dynamic health care needs of individuals, families, groups, communities and global populations. Faculty facilitate the education of students in the art and science of nursing to provide leadership with an emphasis on ethics, wellness, cultural competency and population-based and professional inter-collaborative practice.
The OSU College of Education, Health and Aviation is proudly preparing leaders who power a better educated, healthier and more accessible world. Oklahoma State nursing graduates truly embody this through their passion, dedication and investment in providing the best possible care to patients and their families.
“There isn’t another profession like nursing,” Smith said. “My favorite nurses are caring and compassionate. We will do whatever it takes to help our patients be successful.”
Applications for the BSN program for Summer or Fall 2019 are now open. Interested students can review admission and pre-requisite requirements and apply online at nursing.okstate.edu.