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!

Three things you should know about Linfield’s January Term

Linfield’s short January Term can give students a lot of options.  Here are a few tips for deciding whether or not this “mini-term” is the right time to start your online program.

 

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One of the unique characteristics of Linfield’s academic programs is our one-month January Term (also referred to as Winter Term for online students.).  This condensed term of just four weeks is nestled between Fall and Spring terms and starts right after the winter break. While it can provide a lot of flexibility and options to students when doing their academic planning, there are a few things that every student should understand about Winter Term.

You will only take one class

As we mentioned early, this term is only 4 weeks long so the course material is consolidated pretty densely to fit into this time frame. Students can expect to cover a week’s worth of material in one day’s lesson and to spend more hours reading and preparing assignments each night than they would normally for one class. For many students, this concentrated course option can be perfect if he or she really needs to focus on just this subject. This can definitely be advantageous if it is a subject area that may not be your strong suit. The option of focusing solely on that subject, with no distraction from other coursework, can often improve a student’s ability to absorb the material and perform better in the class.

It’s important to review the course listings for January Term

A quick glance at the 2018-19 Year Long Plan will reveal that there are only about 1/3 of the courses offered this term compared to the other terms. Degree programs like the RN to BSN major often offer elective courses that students can typically take at anytime through their program. Some degree and certificate programs may not be offering core or elective courses in January but may have prerequisite courses available that would be suitable for a newly enrolling student. This is one of the many reasons that it is important to talk with your advisor and discuss the courses that are offered each term throughout the year. Careful planning – and checking in with your advisor – ensures that you take advantage of opportunities like January term and how it may best fit into your academic plan.

January Term can be the best – or most challenging – time to start, depending on your program and personal preferences

While January Term can give students a lot of flexibility in their academic schedule, it can also be a difficult time for some students to start their Linfield education. The reality is that with a limited number of courses offered this term, students may not be able to find a course they need for their program in January and may have to wait until spring. Also, the accelerated pace of the coursework may be challenging if this is your first term and/or if you have not taken online classes in the past. While some students are ready to dive in with both feet and can keep pace with the coursework, some students prefer a more traditional academic term and time frame when starting their online courses.

Still not sure if this is the right term for you to start? Schedule an appointment with your admission counselor to discuss the right start term for you. The priority deadline for Winter term is  December 10 as classes start on Thursday, January 3 (the college will be closed 12/25 – 1/1) but we encourage you to connect with an admission counselor if you are interested in starting with us this winter.

 

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Sustainable Practices for Students

While you’re in school there are so many things on your mind, and life can get super busy. But there are little ways you can help the earth by just changing a few of your habits, so you can be a sustainable student.

Reusable Cups and Straws

Whether you are sitting in a lecture hall for class, or logging into class at the end of a long workday, every student knows that caffeine can be a lifesaver. Plastic straws and cups may seem like just a small part of your daily life, but they play a huge role in the global plastic pollution issue. Only 9% of plastics end up being recycled, the rest end up in landfills, where they take up to 1000 years to decompose, or it ends up in the ocean. Many cities and companies have already began banning plastic straws, but you can help too! By using a reusable straw and cup when you are drinking your morning coffee, or just filling it with water instead of using plastic water bottles. And the best thing is most coffee shops give you a discount for bringing your own cup for them to fill! Talk about a win-win.

Taking Electronic Notes

With all the technological advances, taking notes electronically is easier than ever. Eventually most school notes end-up in the landfill or even worse, in the trash. Save the paper and other materials by taking notes on your laptop, or tablet. Need notecards to study? Use Quizlet. You can even download their app so your notecards are right on your phone, so you can take studying on the go!

Unplug Your Electronics

            When you’re not using electronics, they are still taking up lots of energy. So once you’re done with something just unplug it. You can also plug your electronics in a surge protector and just flip the switch off right before you leave! The earth and your electric bill will thank you!

Reusable Shopping Bags

Keeping Reusable grocery or shopping bags in your car is such an easy task that makes all the difference. Think about how many bags of groceries you end up putting in single use paper or plastic bags for every shopping trip. Those end up adding up and cause lots of unnecessary waste. If the bags are already in your car or even in your purse, then you will always be prepared!

Eat Smart

            What’s a better study break then a trip to your local farmer’s market? Purchasing local and organic meat and produce not only keeps money in the local economy, but helps support sustainable food practices. Farmers at your local farmer’s market usually only have to travel 50 miles or so, compared to grocery store products that travel and average of 1,000 miles. Plus, many of the products are pesticide and chemical free.

Use Electronics Wisely

            Laptop computers use up to 80% less energy than desktop computers, so always opt to use your laptop rather than a desktop if you can. Most laptops also have a power saving mode that automatically lower your screen brightness and make sure apps that are not wasting unnecessary energy. Your phone most likely also has this feature, so always turn that feature on. Plus, it will make your battery last way longer, so no need to carry around bulky chargers.

Adding sustainable practices into your daily life doesn’t have to be difficult. Just follow these simple tips and you will be helping our planet! Want to learn even more about sustainability? Check out our completely online sustainability certificate program.