Carrie Strati* earned her RN and went straight to work.
She had no plans to go further in her education, as being a nurse was her end goal. But after a few years of working, she started to think bigger. By then, she also was married and a mom—and adding a degree program to that busy life seemed impossible.
*Actual Capella learner who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella.
When her human resources manager told her about Capella University and its self-paced FlexPath format, Strati was intrigued. Her interest was further piqued when the manager told her about a scholarship opportunity toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Strati applied—and won.
The scholarship helped with the financial end, but the real aid came from the FlexPath program itself. “I loved it,” Strati says. “I couldn’t have done a traditional online program. My husband works, too, and our baby is a good sleeper, but I would never have been able to juggle work and family around a term-based structure with pre-set deadlines and discussion posts due every week at a certain day and time.” Instead, FlexPath gave Carrie the ultimate flexibility. She was able to set her own deadlines, and go at her own speed through each course, moving on to the next whenever she was ready. That made fitting school into her already busy life was possible. So possible, in fact, that she decided to get two degrees instead of one.
While she worked on her BSN, Strati started to think about opportunities in the future. “I’d been working as a floor nurse on a med-surg floor, and I knew I didn’t want to do that forever,” she says. “I started thinking about administration.”
While she was thinking about changes, she received an email from Capella announcing that the FlexPath format was now available in the master’s in nursing (MSN) degree program. Strati immediately applied. “I was used to FlexPath by then, and I knew I could move quickly,” she says.
While she started out focusing on administration, Strati began to realize that the world of education was something she wanted to explore. “I decided to approach education,” she says. “Then I got a job as a nursing instructor at a local college. To keep it, I needed to get my master’s within a certain amount of time.”
She graduated at the end of 2017—the first graduate of the Capella MSN FlexPath program.
Like it Was Designed for Her
Strati describes herself as highly self-motivated and she attributes her successful completion of two degrees through FlexPath to that characteristic. “I don’t like having things hanging over my head,” she says. “I like to get things done and move on. So FlexPath was perfect for me. It allowed me to work around everything and not stress out about a deadline. Being self-motivated is everything in a program like this.”
She can think of many others who would benefit from FlexPath as well. “I know so many nurses with families who want to go back to school, but don’t know how they can balance everything,” she says. “I’ve been telling everyone about FlexPath.” In fact, her sister just started her BSN in September.
“It’s hard to express how great the experience was. I’m very, very happy.”