Lifelong New Jersey resident Jeanette Pascale said her dream would be to eventually move to Florida for two reasons.
“This is partially to get away from cold winters, but also to feed my adoration and addiction to Walt Disney World,” Pascale said.
Pascale earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing online, but it did come from a Sunshine State school, Jacksonville University.
That experience proved so positive that Pascale is now working on her Master of Science in Health Informatics online from JU.
“I really can’t imagine attending any other program for my graduate degree,” said Pascale, who got her BSN in 2015. “Having the personalized attention from my Bisk representative Renee (Rodgers) has kept me going. All the work is done for online studies, from registration to financial aid. Nothing is left to chance.
“Because of my excellent learning experience in the online RN to BSN program, and hearing horror stories from fellow RNs in other online programs, the choice to stay at JU was a no-brainer,” Pascale said.
“Informatics has always interested me, and I feel like I can make life better for healthcare providers by combining my clinical skills with HIT (health information technology) knowledge,” Pascale said.
That interest, plus JU’s faculty, helped Pascale overcome her apprehension.
“My biggest challenge was fear of the unknown. I have no informatics experience, and starting a whole new specialty was scary and overwhelming,” Pascale said.
Despite her fears, Pascale quickly found her groove.
“The professors are amazing! And they are there to support all of us, and ensure we succeed,” Pascale said. “It is a great deal of work, but by putting in the effort and utilizing open communication with my advisor and professors, I did it!”
Her education is far from the only challenge Pascale has faced.
She’s been a registered nurse since 1998 and has spent most of her career in the emergency department. At home, she’s a mother to five, ages 9-16, two of whom, she said, are on the autism spectrum.
“My children have taught me love and so much patience,” Pascale said. “Fortunately, I think being in school online sets a great example for them to try their best in school.”
Pascale recommends JU’s program, but notes that motivation is a must.
“You get out of it what you put in. If you are the type of person that wants to just ‘get by,’ choose another program,” Pascale said. “JU is very self-directed, and you do need to push yourself to stay on track.”
She had advice for those who pursue their degree online from JU.
“Make friends in class,” she said. “We all can learn a great deal from one another. Additionally, having support from other students is so beneficial, especially when you’re overwhelmed with life/work/school balance. We really are all in this together.”
Pascale plans to finish her studies in the fall, and to walk with her class in graduation ceremonies the following spring. She’s currently completing her capstone. As an added incentive, visiting JU will bring her within a couple of hours from Orlando, and will be “a great way to sneak in a Disney visit.”