If you’ve ever wondered how successful accelerated nursing students are after graduating, you’re not alone. Many prospective students at Marian University initially have that concern, but after learning more about our students’ achievements, they realize there are numerous accelerated nursing graduates getting jobs at top health care providers. Every year, our ABSN graduates join thousands of nurses with thriving careers, and several have decided to share their inspiring stories of where they are now.
Lauren Madden, a recent graduate of Marian University’s ABSN program in Indianapolis, is not unlike many prospective nurses who originally went down the liberal arts path. Dreams of becoming a Broadway star led her to major in musical theatre, but after both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer, she decided that nursing was her passion.
“I was in awe of the nurses that took care of my dad and our whole family, they were just so sweet and really cared about our needs,” Lauren said. “Then the moment my mom was diagnosed with cancer I was like, ‘OK, that’s it – I’m going to nursing school!’”
Lauren said watching what her parents went through confirmed that there was nothing else she wanted to do more than nursing. Once she started the ABSN program, it didn’t take long for Lauren to discover what kind of nursing she enjoyed most.
“I was definitely happiest during my pediatric rotation,” she said. “We did it at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital (at St. Vincent) and I think that’s when I knew I wanted to work with kids.”
Lauren is a now a nurse at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children where she is able to work with kids every day, and according to her, “it’s so fun!”
“I just adore my job,” she said. “I mean, Riley is the best of the best in my eyes for a children’s hospital, and it’s just so comforting to help the kids, even if it’s just giving them a warm blanket.”
Lauren attributes her career success to the education and experiences she gained in the ABSN program, and believes it was the gateway to the career she has now.
“I liked doing all of my clinicals at St. Vincent– it’s definitely a great hospital to be associated with,” she said. “And now I’ve landed my dream job and I’m so happy that I’m working at Riley.”
Now residing in Indianapolis, Cory Smith is a 2014 graduate of Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Indianapolis. When Cory graduated, he had to wait several months to take the NCLEX, the national licensure exam that all nursing students have to pass before practicing. Instead of simply waiting, he decided to make the most of his time by volunteering in the ER at Methodist Hospital. Cory had no idea that his desire to simply learn more about trauma nursing would soon lead to his first career opportunity.
“As soon as I graduated, I spent at least once a week at Methodist in the ER until finally their manager said, ‘Hey, when are your boards?’” Cory said. He then explained to the manager that his boards weren’t until February, a few months down the road.
“They were like, “OK, we want you to go ahead and apply now,” Cory said. “So it was kind of one of those things where I had the job lined up; the interview was basically a shoe-in.”
Cory said he was excited because he’d always wanted to practice trauma nursing. Methodist Hospital is not only a Level I Adult Trauma Center, but also one of the nation’s best hospitals, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
“Last summer, I know we had a 24-hour period where we had 400 patients come into the ER,” Cory said. “It keeps you on your feet; makes you move fast.”
Cory explained that after learning their system, getting accustomed to moving and thinking on your feet, and adjusting to having various tasks at once, new nurses at Methodist can eventually take on other responsibilities.
“They’re going to start putting me in the constant care area here pretty soon,” he said. “It’s crazy knowing that a year ago I was just starting to be a nurse.”
From patients who are coming to see specialists, to patients who are homeless, Cory said he sees people from all walks of life.
“It kind of opens your eyes at the community in which you serve, and you get a better understanding of people outside of how you grew up,” he said. “You learn to be a little more tolerant, a little more patient with folks who grew up in a difficult situation and are currently still facing difficult situations.”
Cory said he enjoys what he does at Methodist, but also loves that being a nurse gives him opportunities to earn income in other ways.
“I’m a PRN at the emergency department up at Riverview in Noblesville,” he said. “I’m just going to work eight hours a week there, but that could give me an extra 12,000 dollars a year if I work every single week. It’s nice.”
If you’re still wondering are accelerated nursing graduates getting jobs, Cory is a testament that they are.
Similar to Lauren, Lindsay – a 2015 ABSN graduate from Marian University in Nashville – chose nursing after experiencing tragedy with a loved one. While spending some time with her grandmother in the hospice, Lindsay said she loved being with the nurses.
She soon started the ABSN program with intentions of going into mental health, but after taking a leadership course with her preceptor, she decided to gain some experience at the bedside first.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but when I met my preceptor and her staff, I loved them,” she said.
After allowing Lindsay to shadow their team at Saint Thomas Health for six weeks, the leadership preceptor (who is now Lindsay’s manager) offered her a permanent position.
“She was like ‘you have to come work for me,’ and I was like ‘I want to come work for you,’” Lindsay said.
Having a job lined up, Lindsay started the residency program at Saint Thomas Health in Nashville immediately following graduation. She spent a total of 15 weeks with her preceptor, learning and becoming familiar with different units. Lindsay said by the time orientation was over, she felt prepared. And according to her, the best part is that Ascension Health (her employer) offers a host of opportunity.
“Ascension is huge, so having that connection and having this experience here will make me set for life if I ever want to [pursue] something that’s associated with Ascension,” Lindsay said.
Like many students, Lindsay wanted to achieve her goal of going to nursing school with the confidence of knowing she would be successful after graduation. She wanted to be amongst the many accelerated nursing graduates getting jobs after commencement. Although it was hard work, Lindsay said her time spent in the ABSN program paid off.
“It is all worth it, eventually,” she said. “I am a nurse now – and I literally walked into a job that I am loving.”
As a nurse, you can change the lives of those around you and create a bright future for yourself along the way. The opportunities are countless, as you can take up a specialty, become a travel or home health nurse, teach nursing students, or increase your education to pursue leadership positions. At Marian University, you can earn a BSN in as few as 16 months. Contact an admissions advisor to find out how you can get started.