Jamie Daugherty has been on the move for nearly two decades. Now she is settling in, but not slowing down.
The 44-year-old nurse moved 13 times in her 19-year marriage to her Marine husband. Though she was already a nurse when the duo met, his career was always the couple’s primary focus. But when the couple settled recently in Brooksville, Daugherty decided it was time she took the next step in her career.
“I chose to go back to get my BSN because I’ve been a nurse for 24 years and this is going to be my forever career,” she said. ”I really feel it’s a direction that all nurses need to take.”
After considering her options, including campus-based programs, Daugherty earned her BSN through Jacksonville University’s online RN to BSN program.
JU’s superior curriculum was her top reason for choosing the university, though she admits she was apprehensive about pursuing a degree online at first.
“I’m a very social person and I thought being online would not bring across my personality, but I was totally wrong,” she said. “The discussion boards really created an atmosphere where you got to know your fellow students, even though you weren’t face to face with them.”
The flexibility of attending classes anytime, anywhere was a tremendous boon for her, she said.
“The online program offered me the luxury of being able to spend time with my family and be able to do my homework when my husband was at work,” she said. “I loved the fact that all I needed to do was take my laptop and my textbook and I could go on vacation … I didn’t find any of the things to be challenging to use online. Everything about the online program was easy to use and self-explanatory.”
The helpful professors and the comradery of her online classmates dispelled any sense of isolation, though there were times being on her own for projects presented interesting – and amusing – challenges.
Though experiments were done independently in her own home, she said, JU instructors provided videos to help students learn the lessons and complete projects. Still, things didn’t always go quite as planned.
“(In) one of my chemistry projects I had to do a plate that had serum from other animals in it,” she said. “And my cat ate my project.”
That may have come as an unpleasant surprise, but Daugherty said the program overall was full of pleasantries.
“What surprised me most about taking an online program is how much I liked it,” she said. “It took me 21 years to get back into school, and I found this to be wonderful.”