“I think that when people hear ‘online NP program,’ they think of a format that is very different than what the Georgetown program actually offers. Posting on message boards and communicating with professors by email is not how it works here. The sync sessions are what sets this program apart from others — you actually attend classes at scheduled times and see your fellow classmates and teacher. Once you get used to it, it’s very similar to sitting in an actual classroom. I think Georgetown’s program offers an updated, more interactive version of the traditional online graduate nursing program.”
— Sarah Yon (G’13)
Georgia resident Sarah Yon (G’13) earned her BSN from Georgia State University in 2007 and is currently enrolled full time in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Here, she shares with us her advice for those just starting in this career path and why she chose this particular track.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree?
I wanted to learn more about how our bodies work and how to appropriately prevent and treat illness. Having worked in the ICU for several years, I wanted to know how to prevent patients from reaching that point. How can I help keep people well?
Why did you want to pursue this particular specialty?
I liked the idea of the FNP degree because of the emphasis on prevention. I also feel that an FNP degree allows me flexibility and versatility in my future career endeavors.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in this career path?
Start your program with an open mind, and try to remember that the ultimate goal is providing your future patients with excellent care — not what grade you make on a 20-point assignment. Commit to learning as much as you can and constantly improving as a health provider.
What has your experience been with the Learning Management System (2GU)?
It did take some getting used to at first. However, now that I am comfortable with how to use the system, I think it’s great — very easy to navigate and well organized, making it simple to find what you need quickly. I love the new app as well — it gives me access to school work/due dates/wall posts anywhere that I have cell service.
What is one skill you believe every nurse should possess, no matter what stage in their career?
The ability to think critically and know why you are doing things for your patient (Why am I giving them this medication? Why am I drawing this lab? Why am I doing this procedure?) I think we need to ensure that we are always aware of the rationale for our patient’s plan of care and be able to question it or advocate for a better plan when appropriate.
There is so much more to nursing than carrying out orders and performing tasks. If I don’t know something, I look it up or ask someone — always! I want to empower myself to be able to provide my patients with this best care possible.
Do you currently work part or full time?
I stopped working at the time I started the full-time program. For me, it is impossible to work and devote adequate time to the full-time program and my family simultaneously.
In what states have you practiced?
I have practiced in Georgia and South Carolina.
In what departments have you worked?
I have worked in Cardiothoracic ICU, Surgical/Trauma ICU, and Electrophysiology Lab.
How old are you?
I am 30 years old.
Are you married? Do you have children?
I am married, yes, but no kids — just our fur children (two dogs and one cat).
How long have you been in nursing?
I have been a nurse since 2007.
What are some ways you’ve been working to create a healthy work-school-life balance?
I try to make a schedule and calendar and stay on course as much as possible. Of course, this doesn’t always happen for a variety of reasons. However, I think that having an organized plan is very helpful (knowing and anticipating due dates, planning clinical hours, scheduling personal appointments, etc.).
I allot time for exercising! Sometimes it is the last thing I feel like doing, but it really helps relieve stress. I try to spend at least half an hour with my husband at night — eat dinner together, go for a walk, etc. I have learned that neglecting my personal life only makes me feel more lonely in this strenuous program. I make time to catch up with friends, even if it’s a 15-minute phone conversation. Staying in touch with classmates is also very helpful!
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?
I feel that, overall, I can say that I have taken my knowledge base to a much higher level through this program. Everything from my history taking, physical assessment skills, and ability to actually diagnose and treat patients has exponentially improved since starting at Georgetown. I have learned how to start looking at the “big picture” and to manage patients based on their individual needs and situations.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I think that when people hear “online NP program,” they think of a format that is very different than what the Georgetown program actually offers. Posting on message boards and communicating with professors by email is not how it works here.
The sync sessions are what sets this program apart from others — you actually attend classes at scheduled times and see your fellow classmates and teacher. Once you get used to it, it’s very similar to sitting in an actual classroom. I think Georgetown’s program offers an updated, more interactive version of the traditional online graduate nursing program.
We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-HOYA (4692).