James Byass-Rascoe (NHS’19)

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

AG-ACNP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

James Byass-Rascoe, a student in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) program, transitioned from a Navy career to nursing after discovering a passion for caregiving. Learn more about why he decided to earn his Master of Science degree in Nursing from Georgetown University. 

Tell us about yourself.

My mother was in the military for 23 years, and I spent my entire childhood traveling the country. After I finished my first undergraduate degree, I joined the Navy and was in the Navy Nuclear Program for almost nine years. 

After I left the Navy, I was not sure what I wanted to do. I originally started working in a shipyard, then I found a supervisory position at a military academy for at-risk youth. I loved working there, but then when taking care of my ill cadets I realized that I wanted to become a nurse.

I earned my BSN in 2015 from the University of Pittsburgh. Immediately upon graduation, I took a position in the Cardiothoracic ICU at UPMC Presbyterian.

I have been married for 12 years and have son who is 11 years old. My son and I train in a martial art called Tang Soo Do.

Why did you decide to pursue your degree with Nursing@Georgetown?

Nursing@Georgetown has provided me the quality of education I was looking for with the flexibility to continue working. I have been able to work full time, manage to maintain good grades, and get my clinical hours in.1 I can usually schedule my synchronous sessions to occur on one day, which makes it easy to schedule the rest of my week. 

What excites you most about the program?

I love the challenge this program offers. Essentially every moment of your day for two years has to be planned out in order to be successful. The classes are challenging, the professors actually care about the students, and they are there to help us succeed. I will say I have enjoyed every faculty member I have had in this program. 

The comradery built with your classmates is second to none because we are all going through this together. I know I have made some lifelong friends on this adventure! 

Is there a course you have particularly enjoyed? If so, why?

I have so far enjoyed ACNP I, and now I am in ACNP II and loving it. I knew when I made it to these courses I was in the meat of my education. Putting all the pieces together from pathophysiology, pharmacology, and differential diagnosis to make a complete patient picture is awesome.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about earning your Master of Science degree in Nursing online with Georgetown University?

I knew I was going to receive a quality education from the moment I was accepted into the program. Not everyone can say they attended Georgetown University. I know I am in a special program with special people. 

Tell us about your on-campus intensive (OCI) experiences.

As nervous as I was for both OCI I and II, each experience has been exceptional! First, I enjoyed meeting the floating heads that are on the computer with you every week for the first three semesters. Second, the instructional staff are all extremely knowledgeable, supportive, and always encouraging. When you think you cannot do it, they say, “We know you are ready for this. Just breathe, and you will do fine.”

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