“I like that I can ask questions.”
Tell us your name and which program you're in, and when you expect to graduate.
My name is Marticiesol Lewis-Alcindor, but I go by Marti. I am in the nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner class, and hope to graduate in 2022.
What's your favorite part about being a nurse?
I like meeting people. I like making friends, making long-term relationships, if that's an opportunity. Just being able to help someone is rewarding.
Tell us about your educational background. How did you get from there to here?
I started off working as a CNA in the US Virgin Islands, and then became an LPN in a community college in Indiana. I progressed online to getting my ASN and my Bachelor’s, and finished my Master’s in Nursing Education in 2018. Now I'm in the Family Nurse Practitioner program.
What are your plans for the future? How do you hope to achieve them?
I would love to go into women's health and some type of holistic nursing. I really like preventative healthcare and a holistic approach to healthcare as well as women's health.
Let's talk about Carson-Newman for a minute. What are your expectations from this program?
I want to feel like it's a personalized program where I can feel free to ask the professor questions and feel like they really want me to learn and help me succeed, and help me to achieve what I want.
How do you balance your life, family, work, and school?
That's probably a challenge for everyone, but I think that waking up early is a way to get more school work done, reducing my working hours, and just having my family be more cooperative and helping them understand that things will have to be put on hold for a while so I can succeed and put my attention somewhere else.
“I'm more observant of my patient's conditions.”
Have you been able to integrate things that you're learning in this program into the job that you have now?
Yes. At work, I'm more observant of my patient's conditions and when they ask me questions, I feel like I have more of a knowledge base to talk to them and give them advice of what to do or if they have certain complaints, I feel like I have more knowledge to know how to address the situation.
Tell us a little bit about working with the faculty here. How has that been?
I feel that the faculty are more personalized. I like the small classes. I like that I can ask questions, and they're accessible. I feel like it's a family atmosphere and that's something I appreciate.
So, how's the residency going, and do you think it's a valuable experience?
I think it's very good. I feel like the small groups allow you to have more hands-on. If it was more students coming to residency, it would be less of an opportunity for you to ask questions and have it personalized, so I like the small groups. I think that's helpful.
“I think that it's just more personalized and also affordable.”
What do you feel like are the main benefits to you of being in this program?
One thing that caught my attention to come to this program is that the school assists you in helping to find a preceptor site. A lot of the other schools that I tried to attend don't help you, so that was a roadblock for myself and other students that I've spoken to. So that's a huge advantage of going to Carson-Newman. And also, I think that it's just more personalized and also affordable.
What attracted you to Carson-Newman in the first place?
I chose Carson-Newman because I like that they have a Christian approach to their education. I like that they are providing assistance with finding a preceptor when you're a family nurse practitioner student, and I also like that they just make the program more achievable for the students.
How has it been working with the student support advisor? Has that been helpful to you?
Yeah. I feel like the student support has been very engaging. They email you, they call you, they try to keep a dialogue open, and I think that's good. I think that they try to do everything they can to make you feel like you're a part of the family or that they're listening to you... They are very responsive whenever you have to ask a question.
“They want you to learn, they want you to pass.”
How do you feel about class size? Has that been helpful to you?
I see that it is a smaller class size. We get to know who the students are because they're smaller groups. We get to hear their names and at residency, you can also see that the classes are smaller, so that's helpful.
What positive aspects about the faculty do you feel like have benefitted you?
I feel like they're just trying to do their best to help you. They want you to learn, they want you to pass, they want you to succeed, and they want you to be very proficient in your skills. So, they're doing everything they can to teach you and make the learning curve achievable, and it can be. It's manageable.
Did you find that the tuition was competitive with other places? Has that been a part of your choice?
I feel like it's comparative to other schools. I feel like it's something that you can manage, and it's achievable, and not grossly expensive compared to other schools. I think it's a very fair price in what they charge for tuition.
Are there other features about Carson-Newman's program that have been beneficial or special to you?
I think they give you a lot of opportunities to practice... I think some people just need to learn to practice, and they do give you a lot of opportunities for that, so that enhances learning.
What other advice would you give to other students who are thinking about coming to this program?
I think you should really research and compare the benefits and see that Carson-Newman is a school that allows you to learn in a practical environment and also helps you to achieve something in a very easy manner, achieve your goals in an easy manner.