Beyond the CNL

Essential tools for your future in nursing

Hear from current online MSN student Kimberly Perris as she discusses the skills and tools she has learnt from the program that she is applying in her current nursing role.

Click here for transcripts
Faye Bosch: Hello, and good afternoon. Welcome to the University of San Francisco’s online Masters of Nursing webinar. My name is Faye Bosch and I’m an enrollment advisor for our online program. I would also like to introduce to you other members of our team. Jan Merlano and LaTonya Boyce are also enrollment advisors on our program. I’d now like to welcome our program director Dr. Elena Capella to introduce herself and say a few words about the CNL program.

Dr. Elena Capella:
Hello there, my name is Elena Capella, and I’m just delighted that you’re considering USF’s four year Masters in Nursing program. USF has a great reputation for training highly skilled nurses that improve the quality and safety outcomes for their patients. At USF our MSN goes beyond the regular MSN. Our MSN program prepares you for your CNL certifications so we incorporate competencies for what is called the Clinical Nurse Leader. And this means that our graduates can take the CNL certification examination.

This examination was developed by nurse executives around the country in association with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. And it’s basically a wish list of what Nurse executives are looking for when they hire nurses. So we are very excited about the program we have at USF. Because we feel that we are training the types of nurses that are best suited for hiring for the really optimal nursing positions. That really improves the quality and safety of patient care. Our program is exciting there are lots of things to learn. It’s also rigorous the curriculum is updated regularly. Basically we’re preparing you to distinguish yourselves as a leader of evidence based care and improvement.

So our program is made so that students can be successful. Students are self-directed, they organize their work, and they prepare their assignments. We make sure that the curriculum reflects the knowledge and skills to qualify students to take the CNL certification exam. So I’m looking forward to getting to know you and also being a part of your professional development.

Welcome to the presentation.

Faye Bosch: Thank you Dr. Cappella. So let me provide some additional information in regards to our program and the background of the University of San Francisco.

University of San Francisco has a well-designed learning, goal oriented curriculum. There are three enrollment periods that we recruit for; which is spring, summer and fall. We are ranked top fifty by US News and World report, specifically for our Nursing program, so our reputation speaks for itself.

Our experienced faculty: our program is encompassed with faculty members with years of experience in academia, Masters and Doctorate levels of education.

Some additional components about our MSN degree program is our course work is 100% online. There’s no GRE exam, you are able to perform your clinical internships practicum courses in a work setting close to your home, making it very convenient for our online students. There’s no specific login times or lectures, as we have an asynchronistic program. The program is designed for associate degree and bachelor degree nurses with an active RN license. And your able to complete the program in as few as two years.

We are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the California Board of Registered Nursing and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.
Students are also eligible to receive the CNL certification prior to graduation.

I would like to introduce a current student from our online MSN degree program, Kimberly Perris; she will be graduating this fall in the class of 2015. Welcome Kimberly.

Kimberly Perris: Thank you very much; it’s a privilege to be here.

Faye Bosch: Well thank you, Kimberly please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

Kimberly Perris: Well, first of all I love this program; it’s been an excellent experience for me. On a personal note, I’m married I have two children seventeen year old son and a twenty-two year old daughter. I live in Northern California up in the Redwood coast in Humboldt County and I have been a Registered Nurse for twenty years. My background has been in OB, strong background in family planning and reproductive health and children youth and family services. Where I really found my niche was in college health, and I work at Humboldt state University, and a very busy student health center. So there I get to see a bit of everything. I love my work, I love my job, but I had started feel like I was stuck. And feeling like the nurses in college health were underutilized. And while I had all of this enthusiasm and ideas to expand the RN role and scope of practice and to better utilize the nurse, I was met with resistance. And at one point a supervisor told me, “Kim why don’t you go back to school?” So that was the beginning of my journey back to school. And while I was terrified I had no idea how I was going to do that and continue working. I began to take some courses and took algebra and statistics and started looking into bridge programs and taking those courses taught me that I had the time because they were very time consuming, and that’s a just a little bit about my background. And that’s part of why I’m here.

Faye Bosch: Well thank you so much for sharing that information with us. So what made you choose an online program?

Kimberly Perris: It honestly intimidated me. An online program I wasn’t sure how you would build relationships. So as I was looking for programs I was met with lots of barriers to different bridge programs and requirements. Like I said I was taking other courses, like algebra and statistics and I stumbled on USF in 2012 and they courted me for a year. As I was building my confidence taking other courses I was getting very frustrated with all of the hoops that were required to get into some of these nursing programs, even in online programs. And about three or four weeks prior to the fall of 2013 I was contacted by USF for recruiting. They were accepting applications and I watched one of the webinars like we’re doing now and just became inspired, and decided to go for it. What I really liked about the program and it has been true, it’s 100% online. There intimidation factor is less than being in a classroom I feel, because you really have a voice. When you’re doing your assignments and your posts you have an opportunity to express your feelings thoughtfully. It’s been a very respectful program excellent diverse instructors, and supportive top notch students. I just continue to be inspired.

Faye Bosch: Thank you very much Kimberly, for that information. Why did you choose a Clinical Nurse Leader focus?

Kimberly Perris: Honestly I didn’t really understand the CNL role, and I think a lot of people may tell you that, until I was well into the program. Initially what I saw it as was a stepping stone. And I knew if I had my Master’s degree, this was a streamlined program that I could do online 100%. Even though that was intimidating I felt like it was a stepping stone towards something more. I wasn’t sure what ‘more’ that would be but maybe entering another program, like a nurse practitioner program. I also liked the fact that the CNL was a Leader at the bedside. I really enjoy patient care and I think nurses are leaders. And I appreciate that this program really emphasizes that. And I liked the leadership focus of the program.

Faye Bosch: Wonderful thank you. So how did the courses within the CNL focus impact your current job?

Kimberly Perris: Ok, so every single course is infused with the CNL role. And a big part of the CNL role is, dealing with change processes and being a positive proactive force in a team. And it’s based on team based leadership. So it’s empowering for nurses and that has helped me, I think, just to have more patience with the different changes in health care and the different changes that happen in my own work place, to see things more as a process. And use some of the skills to make change that I have learned in some of the courses. What else can I say about that?

Faye Bosch:
Thank you very much. What skills or tools have you learned in the program that you’ve applied to your current role?

Kimberly Perris: So, like I said all of the courses are just infused with the CNL role. And you have courses that are CNL role courses and practicum courses where you have a preceptor and you do projects in those classes. In one of the classes we had to analyze our microsystem. And as a CNL you’re always looking at improving outcomes and looking for a problem that can be solved. Part of one of the things my focus has been on, creating an RN role, like I said in the beginning. And in our health care management course, we had to come up with a proposal. So I wrote a proposal for an RN visit project, a piolet project. And we were actually able to begin to implement that into my work setting.

The other thing is, one of my other courses we had to do a business plan, which was a group project. Which another part of this program which is wonderful, is you do get to meet people through group projects. And part of that program was doing a cost benefit analysis, which was eye opening for me, because I learned for my particular project, the cost of having a registered nurse for example to see patients independently versus a nurse practitioner was a huge cost savings. And then in the next course a team manager leader course, we had to develop a team to do whatever our project was, and mine was to develop an infrastructure for the RN visits. And so it really built on the board of registered nursing wants standardized procedures, they require that if you’re creating standardized procedures which is what we were doing for this, so that the nurse could practice independently, to have a multi-disciplinary team. So this gave me the tools to bring a team together multi-disciplinary team that just really gave us a different perspective on how things were working. And we came up with different ways to measure how things were working. Which is also another thing that is a big part of the program, measuring your outcomes, so that you know if you’re making an improvement or not.

Faye Bosch:
Wonderful, thank you so much. So, can you tell us a little bit about your final project?

Kimberly Perris: So, my final project will be coming up this fall, I’m so excited that it is coming up. My big idea is to study the RN visit project. The idea of that is for the registered nurses to see low equity visits, like family planning visits, autonomously with a standardized procedure. And so I would like to use my project to study how that’s working, if it’s decreasing wait times and opening access to other providers, if it’s cost affective and helping nurses to work to the maximum scope of their practice.

Fay Bosch: Wonderful, thank you. So, what are your career goals once you graduate?

Kimberly Perris: One of the things that I dream of in kind of building on the RN visit is being a consultant with other organizations, specifically with the CSU system. And one of the things you notice with the CNL perspective is efficiencies, like cost and things like that. I see a lot of that in the use of staff. So I would like to develop this program and take it further and take it out to the CSUs to help them develop that as a standardized model for nurses to do that in all of the student health centers. I think that I’m going to need to go further with my degree so that I can be more of an advocate. I’m looking very strongly at looking further into the DMP and FMP program after I graduate from USF with my Masters. And I definitely intend on taking my CNL certification.

Faye Bosch: Wonderful, well thank you. So do you have any final advice for perspective students thinking of taking an online MSN CNL program with the University of San Francisco?

Kimberly Perris: I would say that if you’re out there now viewing this you are more than likely very serious about going back to school, and I would say go for it. It’s going to be challenging and you will have to learn to manage your time but it’s very rewarding. And this program in particular has been relevant all along the way, relevant to what I’m doing in my work. To think big when I was watching this webinar a few years ago, three years ago, one of the spokespersons said to think entrepreneur-ly and I really took that to heart. So that’s one piece of advice, we need nurses and nurse leaders specifically, so I say go for it.

Faye Bosch: Well thank you so much Kimberly, we really appreciate your time today. And it was really valuable hearing how the CNL program has positively impacted your current role, so thank you again for your time.

Kimberly Perris: Thank you so much.

Faye Bosch: As for some key dates that I’d like to speak about, for our online MSN program. Our fall application deadline is July 31, 2015. The classes for fall will starts on August 25, 2015.

Thank you again for attending our webinar. Thank you Dr. Capella and Kimberly for your time today. And please contact your enrollment advisor if you have any additional questions. We look forward to hearing from you, and have a great day.

Close X

call to action