MSN Candidate to Help Fill the Primary Care Provider Gap

Nursing@Simmons is proud to shine a spotlight on our students. This week, meet Nikole McLean who details her career as a nursing leader and why she decided to join Simmons.

As a nurse, I spent my first five years of clinical practice in the emergency department of a community hospital. It was there that I became aware of the vulnerabilities patients face and the necessary role of the nurse practitioners who holistically care for them.

As my career progressed I became a nurse manager with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), as well as the chief nursing officer of a long-term acute care hospital. Although I have advanced in my career over the past 12 years from clinician to administrator, my favorite times as a nurse have been while practicing clinically — taking care of patients, educating families, watching someone’s first breath, or holding someone’s hand through their last breaths.

I continue to feel a desire to provide care for vulnerable patient populations, but in a role that allows for a wider scope of clinical practice. There is a need for primary care providers across the country. With this in mind, I researched many family nurse practitioner programs and I was most impressed with the values of the Nursing@Simmons program at Simmons College.

The Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences ensure that students proficiently perform necessary clinical skills before sending them into community clinical experiences.

Although the program is online, I feel very connected to the college, the instructors, and my peers. There is a culture of support, honesty, integrity, and dedication at Simmons that I have not experienced in other online programs.

I am excited to begin my nurse practitioner career as a Simmons College Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduate because I know I will be prepared to practice at a level that will affect my patients holistically and curatively.