Florida resident Brandi Epperson (G’13) earned her BSN degree in 2006 from Jacksonville University, and in June 2016, she will retire from the U.S. Navy after 24 years of service. She is currently enrolled part time in the Family Nurse Practitioner program and credits Nursing@Georgetown for making it possible to go back to school, all while caring for two active children.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree?
I’m becoming an APRN because I want to be more involved in making the decisions that impact lives and figuring out how to help people by improving their health. I like the challenge.
Why did you want to pursue the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty?
I’m pursuing the FNP specialty because I think it provides the most flexibility when working in advanced practice nursing. It will take me wherever I want to go, and there’s a lot of flexibility.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in this career path?
I would advise someone who is just starting out to get organized, be committed to your future, and just keep your eye on your long-term goals. It will be worth it when you finish!
What has your experience been with the Learning Management System (2GU)?
I’ve had a great experience with 2GU. I had no idea I’d get to know my classmates so well and develop real friendships in an online setting. I can’t wait to graduate because it will feel like a reunion.
What is one skill you believe every nurse should possess, no matter what stage in their career?
I think nurses should possess intellectual curiosity, no matter where they are in their career. They should want to know why they are doing what they are doing, and how the order they are giving or receiving will benefit the patient. Intellectual curiosity will keep you learning and growing and better able to keep up with medical and nursing advances that affect the care you give.
Do you currently work part or full time?
I work full time. I am an active duty Navy Nurse Corps Officer at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Fla., in the Emergency Department.
In what states have you practiced?
I have practiced in Washington, D.C., and Florida.
In what departments have you worked?
My first assignment was on an inpatient trauma surgical unit in Washington, D.C., and I now work in an Emergency Department in Florida.
How old are you?
I am 39 years old.
How long have you been in nursing?
I have been in nursing for almost seven years.
What are some ways you’ve been working to create a healthy work-school-life balance?
Creating a healthy work-school-life balance is the hardest part of the program. I’m constantly juggling to make sure that my kids get enough of my attention, and I do this by trying to do my school work at night after they are in bed.
Do you have an example you can share of a time when you were able to apply something you’d learned in class to your current job?
My assessment skills have improved a lot, which helps when I’m triaging patients in the emergency room.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My time at Georgetown is going by quickly.
We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-HOYA (4692).