Choosing a college or university is a big decision. But choosing a university for a second degree could be easy. After all, if you have a good experience when you earn your bachelor’s degree, why not return to the same school for a master’s degree? Or even a doctorate?
Angelique Bermudez and Melani Bell both chose Chamberlain University for their undergraduate degree and then returned for additional education. Take a moment to learn why.
Angelique Bermudez, BSN, MSN-FNP, DNP
Bermudez initially enrolled in Chamberlain’s RN to BSN program in 2015 with the goal of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. After graduating with her BSN, she enrolled in Chamberlain’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree program. But she didn’t stop there. Bermudez says, “After graduating and obtaining my FNP certification in 2018, I felt motivated to further enhance my career.” She wanted to be prepared for opportunities later in her career, such as taking on a leadership position in a healthcare organization or accepting a position teaching nursing students. So, Bermudez entered Chamberlain’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, she graduated with her third degree from the university.
Bermudez explains that she chose Chamberlain each time because she had such a good experience earning her prior degrees there. “As a nursing-focused school, Chamberlain gave me the confidence that nurses like me can make a difference. Not just in direct patient care, but in many aspects of healthcare,” says Bermudez. “Nurses have a significant leadership role in hospitals, clinics, public health, and more.”
Angelique Bermudez, DNP, has earned three nursing degrees from Chamberlain University.
Bermudez, a lifelong learner, is still learning and preparing for new opportunities, even as she works as a family nurse practitioner at a school-based health center. “When I heard about the new Graduate Certificate in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), I signed up right away,” she says. “There is a critical need for mental health providers.” Her next goal is to work as a family and psychiatric nurse practitioner in primary care.
Melani Bell, BSN, MSN, DNP
In 2000, Melani Bell earned an associate degree in applied science in nursing, working the next several years as an RN. She then enrolled in Chamberlain, earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in 2012. “Once I accomplished that goal, I immediately started in Chamberlain’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN),” says Bell. She initially chose the Nurse Executive track, but switched to the Healthcare Policy track. “I wanted to be able to make a greater impact on populations of individuals,” she explains.
After graduating with her MSN in 2014, Bell says, “I had my eye on the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Chamberlain professor Dr. Elizabeth Fildes, whom I still consider a mentor, strongly encouraged me to pursue my doctoral degree—and the rest is history!” In 2017, Bell graduated from Chamberlain with her DNP degree.
She says, “My goal was to be a voice for the voiceless in healthcare and for the nursing profession on a legislative level and congressional level. After obtaining my DNP, I began to have a seat at the table!”
- Bell was recruited by then-dean Dr. Carole Eldridge to be a graduate student on the Chamberlain College of Nursing Community Advisory Board.
- Bell was approached by Edith Patterson, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and invited to join the summer session of the Legislative Black Caucus work group.
- Bell also became the Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Maryland Nurses Association, vice president, and most recently, president elect.
- After graduation, Bell was hired as a federal government nurse consultant based on her superior qualifications.
Bell has also won numerous awards since earning her MSN and DNP. She received the Maryland General Assembly Citation in 2021, presented by Senator Arthur Ellis, for her “immeasurable impact on the profession of nursing in Maryland.” In 2022 she was voted one of the Top 100 Women in Maryland by The Daily Record, and she was the recipient of the first annual Distinguished Career in Nursing Award from Chamberlain University, Chamberlain College of Nursing.
Three-time Chamberlain graduate Dr. Melani Bell mentors Chamberlain BSN student Ashley Green.
“I owe it all to Chamberlain, the university that ‘raised me,’” says Bell. “And now I’m giving back as a visiting professor in the MSN program and board member of the Empower Scholarship Fund.”
Bell chose Chamberlain for her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees for several reasons. She highlights the rigorous education as well as the support she received as a student. “My professors wanted to see me become the successful professional nurse I aspired to be,” she shares. “My advisors worked tirelessly to ensure I understood the program and stayed on track. The admission process was seamless and was coupled with employer discounts. And Chamberlain leadership saw more in me than I could ever have imagined.”
Whether you’re ready to enter college for the first time or you’re considering enrolling in a graduate degree program, Chamberlain prepares extraordinary healthcare professionals to make a difference in the lives of others.
Chamberlain University, an accredited institution, offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree and certificate programs in nursing and healthcare professions. With a growing network of campuses and robust online programs, Chamberlain continues to build on more than 130 years of excellence in preparing extraordinary healthcare professionals. Learn more and begin your journey today.
Chamberlain University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
By Chamberlain University
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