Student Spotlight: Courtney Brinkman
“I love 2GU! I continue to be impressed with the quality of education we are able to obtain and the technology that allows us to get there. I am always explaining to others that there are traditional online platforms – and then there is 2GU.”
— Courtney Brinkman (G’13)
Michigan resident Courtney Brinkman (G’13) earned her BSN from Lake Superior State University in 2004 and is currently enrolled part time in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Here, she shares with us her motivations for pursuing this particular specialty and advice for fellow nurses.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree?
While I was in my undergrad, I was under the care of an awesome NP that truly opened my eyes to what nurses and health care providers can do for a person – keep them healthy holistically. This experience, combined with my passion for education and empowering patients, has led me down this path.
Why did you want to pursue the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty?
I think the FNP is the most diverse educational background, which gives me many opportunities in the future. Ultimately, my dream job would be providing primary care for families in a rural Upper Peninsula town in Michigan.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in this career path?
You can do it! It will take a lot of hard work, dedication, and time management, but it is definitely worth achieving.
What has your experience been with the Learning Management System (2GU)?
I love 2GU! I continue to be impressed with the quality of education we are able to obtain and the technology that allows us to get there. I am always explaining to others that there are traditional online platforms – and then there is 2GU.
What is one skill you believe every nurse should possess, no matter what stage in their career?
Good listening is imperative in every area of nursing, even more so in primary care. Deciding a diagnosis and course of care is heavily dependent upon our history-taking skills.
Do you currently work part or full time?
I currently work part time, every Saturday and Sunday to keep my weekdays open to care for my children and for school.
In what states have you practiced?
I have only been a practicing RN in the state of Michigan.
In what departments have you worked?
As a new grad, I worked in the post procedural unit, a short stay unit primarily for post-cardiac interventional patients. I stayed there for four years before becoming a regional referral RN. I have worked in this department for the past four years, and my primary responsibilities include coordinating the transfer and care of patients across the lifespan, from smaller regional hospitals to our Level 1 trauma center hospital. I work with specialty physicians in areas from peds to neurosurgery to cardiology, which has been an excellent arena for me to diversify myself as a RN and prepare myself for the advanced practice role.
How old are you?
I am 31 years old.
Are you married? Do you have any children?
I have been married to my husband, Sam, for the last five years, and we share four great children together: my eight-year-old stepson, Sammy, our five-year-old son, Elijah, and our two-and-a-half-year-old twins, Toby and Tessa.
How long have you been in nursing?
I have been in nursing for almost nine years.
What are some ways you’ve been working to create a healthy work-school-life balance?
Balancing school, work, and my family is a daily balance. I have learned to squeeze the most out of every day, but I also take time to enjoy my family in the time that I spend with them, and leave my school worries on the back burner. Being able to compartmentalize all the facets of my life has definitely helped me avoid being overwhelmed.
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’m constantly able to use my growing knowledge base in my current job. It allows for better understanding of what different patient types need, allows me to ask more precise questions to determine patient status, and my physician colleagues have been very impressed with my improved triage skills.
We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-4692.