Lauren Annis spends her days helping drug- and alcohol-addicted teenagers through withdrawal and recovery – a job that bears as many rewards as challenges.
“I really like what I do,” Annis said.
The 29-year-old decided to go back to school to earn a BSN, but she didn’t want to give up her job helping teens to focus on her studies.
Jacksonville University’s School of Nursing offered her a way to do both. And it came highly recommended by a colleague and alumna.
“One of the nurses I work with graduated from the online BSN program and she really liked it,” Annis said. “I did look at other colleges … JU was the best option for me. (It) offered everything that I needed and they had the accreditation I was seeking.”
Though she lives in the city, the Jacksonville resident opted for the online RN to BSN program.
“I chose online because it was convenient for me. Since I do work full time, I don’t have many options as far as going to school during the week, so I chose online because I could do the classes at my pace when I had time to do them,” she said.
She kept up a steady pace, and recently crossed the finish line: Annis graduated from the program in December. She is already seeing the benefits of her degree, and said she would recommend the program to others.
“I would say that this program is perfect for those RNs who work full time and want to get their BSN degree. It’s flexible and the program is easy to access.”
The technology and the attentive professors made the program exceptional, she said.
“I understood the classes. They were laid out very easily, they were easy to understand and the teachers were accessible to me whenever I needed them.”
Her work as a nursing student is paying off in her career, she said.
“I feel like earning my bachelor’s has definitely helped me with leadership skills. At my job, it’s a lot of autonomy. I’m the only nurse on campus at any given point so I have to use leadership skills to manage the other staff that are underneath me and work with the medical team that I work with.”