Heather Zayas, a 3-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) student at Chamberlain’s North Brunswick campus, is always up for a challenge.
“I jump at every opportunity I can get,” she said. “I believe if you learn and train with the best you will become one of the best.”
After being a Certified Medical Assistant for five years and receiving her Licensed Practical Nurse license (LPN), Heather decided to go back to school to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
“I like to constantly challenge myself,” she said. “I immediately wanted to see more and do more and I was not going to be able to do so until I acquired my BSN. There should be no second thought about the decision to want to further your education, because only good things can come from it.”
We asked Heather about for her best advice for LPN Nurses who are considering enrolling in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. Check out her tips below!
1. Start with an Open Mind, and a Clean Slate
Heather stresses the importance of keeping an open mind when pursuing a new degree program. As someone who worked in doctors’ offices specializing in everything from internal medicine to cardiology, Heather recognized the importance of being prepared to learn things you may already know in a new way.
“Sometimes it is necessary to go into class and start with a clean slate,” she said. “It is good to use prior knowledge or past experience, but nursing is forever changing. What you learned a month ago may have already changed, so be open minded.”
2. Be Your Own Cheerleader
Heather is the only person in her family to have a career in the medical field and she relies on her own desire to succeed to motivate her. Heather likes to focus on where she sees her career in the future, as well as remind herself why she became a nurse in the first place. These positive thoughts have helped her push through times when she may have felt overwhelmed.
“Being in the medical field so long and having that patient interaction was my biggest drive. I have a purpose in their life and that means something to me,” she said. “I push myself every day to be the best that I can be for my patients not just for them but for their loved ones too. I inspire myself to continue to do what I am doing because it is what I love.”
3. Remember: It’s Okay to be Nervous!
Heather knew that starting a new program after practicing as an LPN for so long would be a challenge. Instead of trying to ignore the things about starting a new program that made her nervous, Heather decided to embrace them and use them as fuel to keep her motivated.
She was able to remain confident in her ability to do well by looking at starting the BSN program as an adventure instead of an obstacle.
“I knew enrolling at Chamberlain would be an experience like no other,” she said. “Eight week classes, as well as juggling work, would be a challenge but in my eyes I looked at it as challenge accepted. I knew that it was not going to be easy and I knew that I was going to have to use every minute of the day to be successful.”
4. Remain Optimistic and Positive
Heather acknowledges that it’s easy to focus on the negative when faced with a new situation. She decided to use her first step at furthering her education as a stepping stone to expand positivity to other areas of her life as well.
“I’ve started reading self-help books, just to bring more open minded thoughts into my life and just to better myself as an all-around person,” she said. “Sometimes we have the tendency to prepare for the worst and think the worst, but we miss out on what is right in front of us. If you go into every session with the mindset that ‘Yes, I will give this class 110% of my focus, my drive, my time and willingness to learn’ that positive outlook will be benefit you in the long run.”
Heather’s final piece of advice for anyone interested in going from an LPN to BSN?
“Close your eyes and think about the outcome,” she said. “See yourself walking across that stage, see yourself passing the NCLEX, and then see yourself working your dream job!”
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree Online Option have the opportunity to earn up to six proficiency credits
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By Lauren Pope
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