From Kapolei, Hawaii, RN to BSN nursing student Alexandra Farnsworth, 39, completed her Bachelor of Science in nursing through the New York-based Excelsior College online degree program. A single parent and full-time worker, Farnsworth's career and schooling path has taken her from emergency medical technician and paramedic certification and experience through to the RN credential and now, a full BSN degree. She spoke with About.com and reflected on her experience in the online nursing degree completion program at Excelsior.
About.com: What was your college experience before returning to school for the Excelsior College RN to BSN program?
Alexandra Farnsworth: Before Excelsior, I completed an EMT and later a paramedic program at a local community college. I knew that I wanted to continue my education but felt discouraged. I had only been able to take one or two courses a semester at a community college because I was a working single parent. It was difficult to find courses that fit my schedule and dealing with school traffic and parking was an added challenge. I heard about Excelsior from other paramedics. I was intimidated by the idea of a non-traditional school. Once I got started I knew Excelsior would be the key to my success.
About.com: What made you decide to get the BSN, and why Excelsior?
Alexandra Farnsworth: I decided to get my BSN because it is a necessary stepping stone for my career goal of becoming an emergency nurse practitioner. Excelsior was an easy decision because that is where I had earned my associate degree in nursing. I knew from experience that Excelsior would provide a quality program that would fit into my busy schedule.
About.com: What's your current job, and why did you select your particular field of nursing?
Alexandra Farnsworth: I work in an emergency department and am a flight medic. I chose the ED because it was a natural progression from my start as a paramedic. I enjoy emergency medicine because every day is different. I like the fast pace and variety. I also find making a difference not just to patients but also their families during life and death situations very fulfilling.
About.com: What advice would you give to a current registered nurse considering an online RN to BSN program like that at Excelsior College?
Alexandra Farnsworth: I would say do it! I grew as an RN in ways I did not expect by completing my BSN. I strongly believe that what is learned from the courses and from instructors, as well as fellow students, makes a well-rounded professional nurse.