RN to BSN Alum Lisa Robinson Reflects on her Unique and Groundbreaking Journey in Nursing

“The RN to BSN education at Linfield taught me that what I get out of education is up to me, and by pushing harder, reaching higher, and always demanding better, anything is possible!  In having that type of leadership within Linfield’s RN to BSN educational program, I was prepared to reach for higher education and push harder by taking ownership and accountability for my educational and professional goals. So while the degree opened doors, it was the quality of leadership and support within Linfield’s nursing program that helped me to achieve my professional goals,” –  Lisa Robinson, RN to BSN graduate, Linfield College Online and Continuing Education.

Lisa Robinson’s passion for nursing and education began early in her life and eventually led her to pursue her online RN to BSN degree with Linfield’s well-respected program.  Throughout the program, Linfield’s outstanding faculty mentored her, championed her career interests and helped her find her unique path to delivering quality care.

Having two parents in the medical profession served as inspiration for the career she knew she wanted.  Her mother was an LPN who changed lives “with her skill and spirit” while her father was a groundbreaking educator who was driven by a mission to ensure that everyone had access to education and founded the first online education platform.

“As a child, playing ‘school’ was my favorite thing, and I would teach my cousins, friends, or basically anyone who would let me, even my pets!” she said. “As I moved into my very early teenage years, during the summers my brother and I would do surgery on bugs and frogs, including trying to fix every animal we could find, whether anything was wrong with them or not.”

Delayed by personal setbacks in early adulthood and the devastating loss of her beloved brother, she was inspired when her mother joined the RN program at Eastern Oklahoma State College and encouraged Lisa to join with her.  Her family were a constant source of strength and support throughout the early challenges of education and her mother led the way for what Lisa wanted to achieve.

“She excelled and was a great mentor to me throughout the program, continuing to encourage and inspire me as well as my instructors and peers,” Lisa said.  Her father bought her first computer, giving her a connection to the world that resulted in meeting her British husband, who had a deep rooted love of education to match her own.

Lisa spent her early years in nursing trying to understand the holistic breadth of the profession by focusing on continually improving her skills, knowledge, and personal development.  “My nursing experience has been diverse, as I believed (and still do) it was important to learn as many facets of nursing as possible.”  She obtained credentials as a Workers’ Compensation adjuster and then certification as a health care quality manager, specializing in Workers’ Comp and case management and continued her growth and exploration in the health care field, obtaining her certification in health ergonomics and then as a legal nurse consultant.

“The knowledge I obtained along with the practice experience, led me to move into leadership roles over the years, always focused on the end result to ensure quality care and better healthcare outcomes for the patients. However, I felt I needed to advance my education to take on more challenging roles, and pursued my BSN in 2009,” said Lisa.

Her Linfield professors immediately recognized Lisa’s zeal for nursing.  RN to BSN Program Coordinator Melissa Robinson, PhD recalls that “Lisa came to our RN to BSN program as an experienced nurse with a strong desire to advance herself personally and professionally. The level of commitment and passion that she brought to the online classroom inspired her peers and faculty – her contributions enriched our learning community significantly. “

Lisa felt equally inspired by her faculty and her courses.  “While in the RN to BSN program, the transformation in my professional and personal growth and development was monumental.”

For her capstone course, NURS 476 Integrated Experiential Learning, a service learning experience that is arranged by the student in consultation with the Service Learning Coordinator, Lisa chose to pursue becoming a first responder.

“This experience was the most influential in all my nursing career and one I am forever grateful to my nursing instructor, Melissa (Robinson) for supporting me in this endeavor,” Lisa says.  “Her leadership and openness to diverse learning experiences for her students truly sets her apart as a nursing mentor and leader!”

According to Melissa, Linfield’s unique curriculum and service learning focus allows students to focus on their passions, even if they lie outside the traditional nursing path.

“Since the RN to BSN students in our program are licensed registered nurses, we have a great deal of flexibility to ‘individualize’ the learning activities based on the nurse’s personal and professional goals,” explains Melissa.  “As they complete assigned projects, they have the ability to choose specific clinical problems to address. In community and population focused activities, they are able to work on issues that impact their own communities and specific populations that they have a passion for serving.”

Lisa’s online RN to BSN education gave her life a promotion by opening doors to new career opportunities, preparing her to meet the challenges of a changing industry and allowing her to grow under the mentorship of faculty mentors who could both challenge and support her.

“The impact of the RN to BSN education on my professional goals has been life-changing, however, while the degree has helped to open doors professionally to career opportunities, it is the people that colleges and universities employ within the program that have the greatest impact on nurses’ career development and professional growth,” said Lisa.  “Linfield prepared me to meet challenges head on and instilled standards and expectations of education that allowed me to overcome these barriers.”

Currently, Lisa is employed by Mitchell, International within the Workers’ Compensation division.  She manages the compliance to 3 URAC accreditations held by the organization, including overseeing the quality program (nurses and physicians), and credentialing healthcare professionals.     In addition to her ongoing work with compliance and credentialing, she has been able to pursue her lifelong love of teaching in her consulting work which is currently focused on bringing medical cannabis education to health care professionals and consumers.  Lisa teaches and develops courses on all aspects of medical cannabis.  She has also published several articles on cannabinoid-based medicines, including a paper she recently co-authored with her father Dr. Gerry Bedore on patients’ responses to cannabinoid therapy.”

No one at Linfield is surprised by the cutting edge work that Lisa is doing today to advance health care, least of all her faculty mentor.

“We have been fortunate that Lisa has stayed in touch with us since she graduated from Linfield,” says Melissa.  “We have been incredibly proud of her accomplishments – however, not surprised. From the first day she joined us at Linfield, she made an impact and her faculty and advisors knew it was just the beginning.”

Are you looking to take the next step in your nursing career? Check out Linfield’s fully online RN to BSN program at http://www.linfield.edu/dce/rn-to-bsn.html and set up an appointment with an admission counselor today!