When Georgia Howell-Barrant came to the United States at 11 years old, she already knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.
“I’ve wanted to become a nurse since I was a child,” says Georgia, who was born in Jamaica and grew up thereafter in New York. “I enjoy helping people and my goal in life is to do that.” After high school, Georgia went to Westchester Community College and graduated first with an A.A.S. in Human Services, followed by a certificate in practical nursing in 2001.
Working in the nursing home setting
Until 2012, Georgia worked as an LPN in the nursing home/rehabilitation center setting. And while she loved the job, she knew she wasn’t finished with her education. “I am an ambitious person, and I wanted to be everything I could be,” she says. “I knew I would be able to do more if I had a Registered Nurse license.”
For years, Georgia applied to and was waitlisted at her local community college. The disappointment could have been discouraging, but she didn’t let it determine her fate. After moving permanently to Florida in 2010, she knew it was time—and she enrolled at the Med-life Institute School of Nursing, graduating with her A.S. in nursing in 2014. “I never wanted to give up,” she says. “It was a long road, but I just didn’t stop trying.”
Doors opened to the hospital
As a new RN, Georgia started working in the hospital setting as a rehabilitation nurse. In 2015, she joined Osceola Regional Medical Center as a utilization review case manager for the outpatient behavioral center, and in 2016, she joined the progressive care unit at a specialty hospital, where she continues to work today.
Eventually, Georgia returned to school online for a BSN. “I had been starting to think about the future, and knew that I wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner,” she says. “I wanted to expand my options, but I knew I would need a BSN first.” Georgia graduated in 2018.
MSN Family Nurse Practitioner at American Sentinel
Georgia’s next step in achieving her goals: find the right Nurse Practitioner program. “A longtime nurse friend of mine told me that she was interested in pursuing the Family Nurse Practitioner too, so I started doing a lot of research and came across American Sentinel University’s MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program,” she says.
“Flexibility was big for me, but what I really liked about American Sentinel was the support from everyone—the admission counselors when I first reached out, and now, the student success advisors and the professors. I like the atmosphere. It has been a great experience and the quality of the education has been excellent.”
Goals for the future
After she graduates in 2021, Georgia and her friend—also an MSN Family Nurse Practitioner student—want to collaborate and start a business in the future. “She’s a home healthcare provider and I work in the specialty hospital and we want to find a way to come together,” she says. “Women’s health is an area I’m passionate about, so I think we’ll focus on that, but time will tell.”
Wherever she ends up, Georgia says her MSN Family Nurse Practitioner will help her get there. “I’m very proud of this achievement,” she says. “I’m the first person in my family to go to college and get a degree. I chose the right program and I highly recommend it. It’s been a family-like atmosphere where I’ve been treated with respect and inspired to do great things.”
Inspired by Georgia’s story? An MSN program can be your passport to a specialty nursing field, like nursing education, informatics, nursing management and organizational leadership, infection control, or case management. Specialized knowledge forms the foundation of these nursing fields. When you acquire new knowledge, you can apply it to nursing practice in ways that enhance patient care and improve outcomes.
Read the other student success stories for more inspiration.
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