Current MSN-FNP Student
Tell me your name and which program you're in, and when do you expect to graduate?
My name is Ashley Leon. I am in the MSN-FNP program, and I will finish this program in August of 2022.
So what do you really like about being a nurse?
What I love about being a nurse is just helping people and really seeing the journey of when they're sick and ill ... [having an] impact on those people and seeing them get better.
Okay. So what's your favorite thing about being a nurse?
My favorite thing about being a nurse is just helping people and seeing people that are ill get better and having that compassionate hand and being able to make an impact in their life.
Tell me a little bit about your educational background. How did you get from there to here?
Okay, my educational background, I graduated with an associate's in 2015, and then I attained my Bachelor's in Science and Nursing in 2017. And now, I am here in the MSN program.
So what's your plan for the future? How are you planning on getting there?
Well, my plans for the future is, of course, to graduate with my master's and hopefully work in a family practice clinic and hope to be able to help people in a rural area.
Well, let's talk a little bit about your Carson-Newman experience. What are your expectations from the program here at Carson-Newman?
My expectations of this program are just to really be a good provider, be a well-rounded provider and be fully prepared for practice and just be willing to confidently have success as a new practitioner.
Talk a little bit about how you balance family and home and work and school.
Okay. The family, work-life and school balance can be a little bit complicated, but with Carson-Newman's MSN program, I'm able to dedicate the time that I need, with it being a part-time program, to really focus on my studies. So with it being part-time, it really allows for work-life balance. It gives me time to really focus on what I'm studying.
Have you been able to integrate any of what you've learned already into your current job?
Yes, I have been able to use things I've learned and teaching methods. I am actually working as adjunct right now for an associates program. So using some of those techniques I've learned and teaching methods with my students in clinical have been really beneficial with my work.
Well, talk a little bit about the faculty, how they help you, how you all interact.
The faculty is always there to support you 100%. Any time I've had a question that needs to be answered or just needed some advice, they're always there, they respond really quickly if I need any help. And they've also been uplifting and very supportive and constructive with feedback.
How's the residency going? Do you feel like it's worth your time here?
Yes, I've loved the residency so far, and I've learned so much hands-on practice, has been very beneficial. And it was great to see Dr. Bolton practice a full assessment, and then having that time dedicated to practice my head-to-toe assessment to be successful in clinical.
Can you think of any other benefits that you're getting from being a student here at Carson-Newman?
Other benefits as a student, I would say is just they're really focused on your success. So they want you to succeed, you're not just another student number, they want you to succeed, and they're really on your side, the faculty.
What attracted you to Carson-Newman to begin with?
Carson-Newman is actually in my backyard, so I've always known about the university. It's something special to me. It's also a Christian university, which I really love and respect. And the fact that they just really want you to succeed as a student.
How's working with a dedicated student support advisor impacted your experience?
It's been a great experience working with her. She's always there to answer my questions and also to give me a heads up of what to expect as I progress through the program. She's always made sure that everything is ready to go and makes everything a smooth transition between each semester.
How has the small class size impacted your learning?
The small class size has been very beneficial to my learning. The professors are always there and provide that one-on-one feedback, and you always feel like they're right there to help you with constructive feedback, and they're very one-on-one with success.
Can you think of some positive aspects of the faculty that have been particularly helpful to you?
They give a lot of constructive feedback and they're very responsive to assignments. So if you submit an assignment, you can hear feedback pretty quickly on that assignment and get the constructive feedback to where you'll know if you're making a mistake or not, to correct that mistake pretty quickly on future assignments.
Did you find that the tuition here was comparative to other places that you checked out?
Yes, I think the tuition is very fair for the kind of education that you're getting because you want quality of education, and I feel like I get that at this university.
Are there some particular features of Carson-Newman that have been beneficial to you?
The features that have been most beneficial is the success advisor that you get, and then the amount of classes that you take at one time. You do two classes at a time in this part-time program, which I'm very appreciative of because I'm able to really focus on what I'm learning, and I don't feel rushed through my studies.
What advice would you give other students who are beginning their study at Carson-Newman?
I would say definitely go for it and believe in yourself because if I can do it, you can do it. And it's a very rewarding and stressful journey, but at the end, you'll be thanking yourself because what I've gotten out of this program so far is more than I could ever have imagined.