Ashley Adkins* has a lot going on in her life.

She’s a registered critical care nurse, wife, mom, and a social media influencer via her own YouTube channel with almost 50,000 subscribers. On top of that, she’s also an MSN FlexPath student at Capella University. Even with all her other commitments, advanced education is still a priority for her, and FlexPath is helping her accomplish that goal.

*Ashley is an actual FlexPath student compensated for sharing her experience.

 

Why Pursue an MSN?

Adkins sees multiple reasons to pursue an MSN. “I think getting a master’s degree shows that you’re invested in your nursing career and that you’re willing to grow,” she says. “That’s always been important to me as a nurse: not to be at a standstill, but always continuing to expand my knowledge in the field.”

Adkins wants to be able to share what she learns with others, through her work and also through social media. “It’s also important to me because the MSN may open up potential new career opportunities.”

 

Why FlexPath and Capella?

With everything on her plate, Ashley was already juggling a packed calendar. It’s not surprising that trying to fit a traditional university program into that kind of schedule doesn’t work well. “Being a new mom, a full-time Registered Nurse, and running a nursing influencer platform, I need a schedule that fits my life,” she says.

“The top benefit of FlexPath is that it removes the pressure of being on a set schedule. I am most excited about being able to choose my own due dates. It allows me to first and foremost be a new mom to my daughter, and it won’t take away from me being a bedside nurse or spending quality family time. I can dedicate myself to school on days where I have more time, and skip on days when I don’t.”

But flexibility wasn’t the only reason she chose FlexPath and Capella University. “The MSN program also appeals to me because it’s an accredited* program and offers different specializations,” she explains. “I’m most excited to learn new things! I’m a big nerd and enjoy broadening my education.”

Adkins also sees FlexPath’s flat-rate tuition structure** as a benefit. “The flat-rate tuition structure brings motivation to complete classes in a timely matter,” she says. “I like to think of it as a ‘school buffet.’ You pay one price, and can eat (a.k.a. accomplish) as much as you want!”

 

MSN Benefits, Present and Future

Adkins sees the MSN as having both short-term and long-term career benefits. “With my MSN, I want to be a better nurse and resource for others,” she says. “I love being able to teach others and provide them with better clinical education. One day I would love to become a nurse educator or clinical instructor.”

 

Leveraging What She Knows

When asked why nurses should consider an MSN, Adkins points out that an offering like Capella’s MSN FlexPath allows students to leverage the knowledge and experience they already heave. “Being a critical care nurse has allowed me to experience many unique situations,” she says. “I plan to utilize my clinical knowledge to my benefit within my courses.” And that could easily apply to others. “An MSN just fits perfectly into what you are already doing as a nurse,” she says. “It’s a great transition from an RN or BSN, and you can easily apply your nursing knowledge towards your MSN.”For Adkins, the combination of the MSN program with the FlexPath learning format is everything she needs. “FlexPath allows me to expand my education while not taking time away from the most important thing in my life, which is my family,” she says. “It allows me to continue to be a mom and a wife, but also allows me to be a better nurse.”

Follow along with Ashley on her journey and see how FlexPath empowers teachers to pursue their degree on their time.

Learn more about Capella’s online MSN program, available via both FlexPath and GuidedPath learning formats.

*The BSN, MSN, and DNP programs at Capella University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).
** Books, supplies, and other fees may apply
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