Video Transcript – Jennifer’s Life After Graduation
Play Jennifer’s Life After Graduation
Boise State University Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Alumni Testimonials
AGNP Class of 2018, Jennifer O’Donnell, MSN, ARNP, AGNP-C
[Jennifer] My name is Jennifer O’Donnell, I’m a nurse practitioner. I graduated from Boise State in December of 2018. I am a nurse practitioner at Laurelhurst which is a post-acute care skilled nursing facility and an ICF facility so I have kind of patients that I see as their primary care provider but I also see some patients acutely who have just discharged from the hospital.
I kind of had always envisioned myself either working in a place like I work in now, a post-acute care facility or as a transition nurse kind of nurse practitioner keeping the patient out of the hospital so once they discharge from the hospital to kind of prevent them from going back so I’d always known I wanted to be an adult gero nurse practitioner and focus mostly primarily on patients with congestive heart failure and diabetes and kinda some of the big things and kind of meet them, meet the patient where they’re at.
That was my big plan, so the adult gero program fit in perfectly for what I wanted to do. I actually got my bachelor’s degree at Boise State and I loved the bachelor’s program so it just was a really smooth transition for me to go from my bachelor’s at Boise State to my master’s at Boise State and ended up even liking the master’s program even more than the bachelor’s program, so. So I basically kinda went straight through. But there’s also, there’s time gaps just from when you apply, to when you get in, so by the time I started in the NP program I had been a nurse for probably about five years.
Boise State’s program actually fit in really well with my current role both the adult and the geriatric, mostly primary care but also with a little bit more of a kind of an acute care role I took on having a good solid foundation, the basic foundation I think when you go to any nursing program you know it’s, you don’t learn everything you need to know. What you really need to know, or what you really learn is what, is kinda the building blocks and I think that Boise State did a great job of kinda giving me those building blocks so I could build upon or learn even more after I left school.
So I mean really what got me through the program was my cohort. The people that were in my cohort having, I took advantage of almost everybody in my cohort you know, we were all a pretty close, tight-knit group which really really helped and it’s kinda focusing on, I was a med-surge nurse but one of my classmates was a GI nurse and so it’s kind of starting early knowing who to go to and it’s, it was a team like my, I definitely think my education at Boise State was a team.
I had incredible instructors I mean my instructors were so different from my RN program because they were so supportive I could, you could call them on the phone, you could email them you could do anything like that so I, I personally probably took advantage of that more than other students in the program but, I really like that but the whole team approach is probably the most important thing it’s nice that it’s a nice small cohort and you can kind of get to know each other and you can kind of take from other people’s strengths or use their strengths when it comes to nursing, I used the example of the GI nurse or, of the hospice nurse.
You know I hadn’t done a lot in hospice and we had a hospice nurse in our group. I think that was the best thing or the biggest thing about kind of getting through and you know we all have good days and we all have bad days, so when I was having a bad day, there was someone there that was having a good day and they could, you could call them or talk to them and it’s like, okay we can get through this, we can do this.
And some days I was having a good day so I could be the cheerleader, so I think that’s the biggest and the- the biggest thing for me of getting through was the close-knit group that we had with the whole cohort but also specific other students too. Honestly when I first started looking at programs I was like oh my gosh we, even the first year is super nerve wracking because you don’t know what to expect and then you get there and you’re like- even the simulations where you had to go in and have your own patients and they’re videotaping you ah, the first time you did it, of course me I’m nervous anyways I was really nervous, but after you did it, and you had the support of the instructors and the other students. It ended up being really fun and you got to learn a lot.
I looked forward to it the second year I was like oh this is going to be great and third year I was like yeah right this is awesome. And every year seemed to get better and better. I know the program’s hard and I mean, I think. I know the program’s hard, but, also there’s so many benefits, and not even just ending up being a nurse practitioner, but even with this degree there’s so many things you can do, you can teach, you can, you know. So I just, stick with it, it’s worth it.