Gloria Montanya

She is a mother of four and full-time nurse — and now, Gloria Montanya of Atlanta, Georgia, is a proud Jacksonville University alumna.

Mother, full-time nurse, student? How did she manage to be everywhere at once? The university’s online nursing degree program.

Montanya said she wanted to earn her MSN in order to advance her career, but with her busy schedule, a campus-based program was out of the question.

“I really did my research … finally, JU caught my eye,” she said.

An acquaintance already enrolled in JU’s nursing program told her great things about the professors and the university’s academic excellence, she said. That student’s enthusiasm made her decision easy.

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“He told me the instructors respect you as a person and I said, ‘That’s where I will go!’” she said.

The decision to enroll in JU’s online nursing program was an excellent one, she said.

The online experience at JU was “extraordinarily excellent,” Montanya said. The professors were respectful, helpful and always available.

“What makes JU special is I’ve seen my colleagues and the schools they went to and the classes they took. JU is different because when you come out of JU, you know that you really went to school,” she said.

And the student interaction was wonderful, she said.

“We are like family,” Montanya said of her classmates.

The native of Nigeria, West Africa, said she was called to nursing about 17 years ago by a desire to help others heal.

“I decided to be a nurse because I love to help people. … It makes me feel good that I helped a person become well,” she said.

With her MSN degree completed, Montanya said she plans to become a nurse practitioner and possibly pursue a DNP. For now, her new degree is already paying off with the promise of a promotion at her current employer, she said.

“There were certain things that I didn’t know until I came to JU, and with the changes in the healthcare system  … JU really helped me in those areas, and with the advancement of my career,” she said.

It wasn’t always easy, but Montanya said the hard work was worth it.

“I know I did a lot of classes but I loved it because it made me better – a better person and a better nurse than I was before.”

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