Lori Williams

Lori Williams


Started the RN-BSN program in 2014,Graduated in December 2016

View examples of Lori's coursework while enrolled at Carson-Newman:

Why did you choose to a career in Nursing?

I’ve been a nurse for a long time. I know at the age of 23, I wanted to make a difference, and have a secure career with a good income. I thought nursing might be a good fit for me, and it was a good choice!

What makes a great nurse in the field?

A great nurse has a solid education, a lot of experience and compassion for patients. They must also be non-judgmental and willing to go to battle and advocate for their patients.

What was your opinion about online learning prior to you applying to the program and how has your opinion changed since starting the program?

I have been enrolled in an online program before. Entering into Carson-Newman was a fairly easy process. I was very comfortable learning online.

What factors influenced your decision to earn your BSN degree online?

I needed to balance my family and work obligations, while caring for my mother.  Online was the only option for me.

As an RN, why was it important for you to earn a BSN degree?

My goal is to be a Nurse Practioner, which requires a Master’s degree.  I’m already in a master’s program at a different school, which requires a BSN. Also, most hospitals are going to magnet status so now, a BSN is a necessity.

How has your previous nursing experience prepared you for the BSN program?

The RN-BSN program at C-N blended well with my previous experience and helped me gain a deeper understanding. I used my past experiences with various diseases and injuries as fodder for my writing assignments and research papers.

Why did you decide to earn your BSN from C-N?

The main reason was that it was a Christ-centered program. My faith is the most important part of my life and I carry that into my career. Secular colleges will teach you how to be a good nurse, but the Christian principles taught at C-N add value to nursing practice.

What has been your experience as an online BSN student at C-N?

It was a very good experience and that has to do with what was going on in my life at home. Two weeks into the program my father in law died. My mom got sick and passed away right before I finished the program. The faculty was so caring and supportive during those difficult times. They never questioned me at all – the faculty was completely understanding and supportive of what I was going through, and they were there for me.

The program itself was extremely doable. They don’t rush you to complete a bunch of classes at the same time, and that was extremely helpful.

I started the Online RN-BSN program in 2014 and graduated in December of 2016. I could have finished the program sooner if not for family health problems.

Has your investment in the program been worth it?


What advice do you have for potential students interested in the program?

Do it. It’s doable, if you have a family and if you work, you can do this. You have to be disciplined, but you can do it. It’s a path to a higher degree and a higher salary and it’s totally doable.

What is your experience with the faculty support?

They were always there when I had questions and ready to help me anytime. The faculty was very supportive, caring and helpful.

Which faculty member stands out the most?

The faculty member that stands out to me the most is Sue McBee. She will forever be my mentor. She would send me emails offering encouragement and her words were so helpful that I shared them to my whole family. During a time when my family was struggling through a particularly rough time, my kid said “You know what we need now? We need an email from Sue McBee.”

Did you find the faculty to be accessible?

Yes, the faculty were always available to me for questions. We communicated via email and text message and most of the time they would respond within hours if not minutes. Even on the weekends, I could get an answer quickly.

How did C-N help to prepare you for a nursing career in the 21st century?

The BSN teaches you to expand professionally and to embrace the nursing profession. The healthcare industry is facing a lot of challenges and is changing quickly and nurses are right on the front line.

How have you developed professionally since starting the C-N RN-BSN program?

The BSN program really helped me to develop research skills. I’m now able to dissect any nursing research I come across and decipher what information is good and what is not. The BSN program gave me a deeper view of nursing practice and what nurses do. There’s nothing wrong with being an ADN nurse - they have great bedside skills. The BSN however, prepares you for the professional aspect of nursing. As you get into the deeper learning aspects of the BSN, you realize just how valuable research studies can be, and can better appreciate how much effort and cross-discipline collaboration that went into developing them.

What are your career plans after graduation?    

Ultimately my goal is to be a Family Nurse Practioner. I’m currently enrolled in an MSN program, and feel the C-N RN to BSN degree program provided a great educational foundation and helped to set me up for success in the program and in my career.