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Behind the Scenes at AHU Online: A Day in the Life of an RN

May 6, 2019  |  Category: Nursing

No two nurses will have the same career, and that’s a good thing!

Today’s RNs might work in traditional healthcare settings, such as doctor’s offices or hospitals, or they might be found working in schools or serving the needs of specific populations.

Enrolled in the RN-BSN or MSN programs offered by AHU Online, our students experienced varied and exciting careers in the nursing field. Working on a bachelor or master’s degree has helped them begin to take the next step forward in what’s already been a fulfilling career.

What’s life really like as a nurse? Four AHU Online students tell all.

Kerry McGuire, RN

Over the course of her nearly 15-year career, Kerry McGuire has worked in a range of environments, such as SICU, MICU, CTICU, CCU, ED, and telemetry. Right now, she’s working as the sole cardiac case manager at a large NYC agency.

The program she’s most proud of developing offers heart disease screening for firefighters over the age of 45. Firefighters are at a very high risk for heart attacks and sudden cardiac death. Through the program, Kerry is able to offer early intervention, education, and health promotion to a high-risk population. “We have enrolled almost 3,700 firefighters to date,” she says, “and we continue to reach more and more every day.”

Kerry also recently joined a charity committee, “Fired Up for a Cure,” which raises awareness, provides education, and offers material support to firefighters who have been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancers. She describes the volunteer work as being beyond rewarding and is also excited to have found AHU Online, which is allowing her to achieve her higher education goals.

Jan Curnow, RN

When she’s not working at Texas Health Huguley Surgery Center in the OR as a circulator, PACU, or as an RNFA, Jan Curnow might be on the other side of the world, providing medical care to traveling students.

Jan’s traveled to China four times now, serving as a nurse to middle school students on a weeklong field trip. “It’s a great way to experience the culture of China while getting paid,” she says.

Along with her work abroad, Jan is also involved with an organization called Wellness Counts, which offers activities and health education programs.

Jan is on track to receive her BSN from AHU Online and says that she’s looking forward to graduating.

Luana Meskauskas, RN

Luana Meskauskas works as a travel critical care nurse. She’s currently working on a contract with San Antonio Regional Hospital, in Upland, Calif. Luana’s specialty is the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU).

Right now, she mainly works in the Cardiac ICU, although she does float to the SICU and MSICU from time to time. She’s been at the hospital for about two years and has loved every minute of it so far. For her, nursing is a way of life and she can’t see herself doing anything else, as helping others is second nature for her. One of her favorite things about working as a Cardiac ICU nurse is getting to see patients, especially open-heart patients, and realize that they have a second chance at life.

Luana thinks that enrolling in AHU Online’s RN-BSN program, and later the MSN-FNP program, was one of the best decisions she’s ever made. When she was first accepted to the program, she was unsure about enrolling, as she wasn’t working at the time and was worried about having the finances to cover the costs.

But in the long run, she’s grateful she made the choice to go back to school, as she’s gotten a great education that has made her a better nurse. She recently earned her BSN and will begin her second trimester in the MSN program, on the Family Nurse Practitioner track, this summer.

Her goals are to become a nurse practitioner, earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and ultimately open her own practice that provides care to under-served patient populations.

Susan Merrill, RN

For Susan Merrill, becoming an RN has allowed her to get closer to one of her loves: Disney!

Susan’s been a labor and delivery nurse for more than 16 years and has spent the last few years working at Florida Hospital Winter Park Memorial. Moving to the Orlando area allows her to be closer to the Disney magic. Susan achieved her goal and graduated last August with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She’s glad to have enrolled in the Online RN to BSN program and described it as a great learning experience.