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RN-BS offers new career as difference-maker

Amanda Timoney holds a monkey on her shoulder in Africa.
Amanda Timoney, RN-BS student

Like other RN-BS students, Amanda Timoney’s first career plan wasn’t nursing. With a degree in economics, she originally hoped to work internationally for the United Nations. Only after living six months in Ghana did she rethink her plan.

The people in Ghana weren’t thrilled that Timoney, an outsider, had inserted herself into their country. Undeterred and driven by a desire to help, she asked the people: what would be the best way she could help them, if not with economics?

“Healing” was their answer. The people wanted doctors and nurses and healthcare professionals, not more government help.

So Timoney took their advice to heart. Upon returning to the U.S., she took a job as a medical assistant. She evaluated the medical field and considered what would be the best role for her in it.

Her decision? Nursing.

Why Boise State’s RN-BS program?

Since she works full time, Timoney started looking for an RN-BS program that was offered online. She also wanted one that would give her a public health distinction.

Boise State fit the bill.

“One of the great things about Boise State was that I could start it while I was still in school with my [associates degree in nursing],” she said. She began her associates program at Hartnell College during the summer of 2020, and became dual-enrolled at Boise State one year later.

Early on, she met with her advisor Maura Rasmussen, who was instrumental in the choice to come to Boise State.

Rasmussen walked Timoney through the program expectations and “all of the benefits that came with going to Boise State,” Timoney said. “The fact that I could get the public health distinction, get the [bachelor’s degree], and then also have that flexibility with my schedule, it honestly sounded a little too good to be true.”

“But I’m going to graduate in December, and it’s been totally true this whole time,” she said with a smile.

Perks of a personalized online program

Timoney appreciates how individualized the program is. Even as her personal availability changed several times, Rasmussen faithfully reworked Timoney’s class schedule each time to make sure she would graduate when she wanted to.

“Boise State really works with your schedule and makes it possible,” Timoney said.

She’s found the best part of the RN-BS program are her professors.

“Even though we haven’t been able to physically be in the same location, all of them have been so kind,” she said.

Based on the quality feedback they provide, she knows “they have thoroughly gone through all of my assignments,” Timoney said. “They’re just very encouraging and I can tell that they’re really dedicated to us.”

Amanda Timoney balances a large parcel on her head in an African street.
Timoney (right) while living in Ghana.

Timoney was also impressed by how dialed in the program’s online format is, and she wanted others to have the same great experience she did. So while earning her associates degree, Timoney partnered with the School of Nursing’s recruiter to encourage her fellow classmates to apply to Boise State.

Driven by her passion to help people, Timoney now hopes to work in a hospital’s critical care unit after graduating. She’s also open to returning to Africa, should the possibility arise again in the future.

Learn more about the RN-BS program