Keuka College's RN to BSN Degree Puts You on the Front Lines of Community Health

Jennifer Bradt '20 credits her Nursing degree for positioning her to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a health care professional.

Thursday, August 27, 2020
4 min. read

Like many people, how Jennifer Bradt performed her job changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.  

But unlike many people, she was not able to work from home. Jennifer, a member of Keuka College’s Class of 2020, is a nurse, on the front lines and fighting the spread of the coronavirus each day.

Jennifer, who works as a nurse administrator for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities in Elmira, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing through Keuka College’s Adult and Online Education (AOE) program. In her role, she is responsible for oversight and adherence to the state’s nursing regulations. 

In addition, she assists with development and revision of standards of practice in nursing, and serves as a resource and mentor for other nurses. She is also a liaison to local community providers, hospitals, and agencies.

Prepared for COVID-19 Pandemic

But her duties changed when with the COVID-19 outbreak.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, my job duties changed to full-time COVID-19 management and preparedness,” says Jennifer. “I am tracking cases, symptoms, and monitoring residential homes under quarantine. I am also tracking and obtaining personal protection equipment (PPE) for staff and service recipients.” 

Jennifer credits her Keuka College classes for preparing her for the challenges that came with these new—and unexpected—responsibilities.

I was extremely thankful for taking Epidemiology and Nursing Research at Keuka College. It prepared me to track the transmission of COVID-19, and critically appraise the latest research on trends, transmission, treatment, and prevention strategies.

Nursing Programs That Fit Her Life

Jennifer chose Keuka College to continue her education because she liked the College’s accelerated program, which offers a weekly classroom format.

She particularly liked how the class modules allowed enough time for completion of assignments, as well as collaboration with classmates for group projects. The transition weeks, Jennifer adds, were essential to regroup and prepare for the next class. 

“The transition weeks were also beneficial to catch up on family obligations, household duties, and other responsibilities,” says Jennifer, who overcame some personal challenges while completing her degree. 

“The biggest challenge I had to overcome was balancing all of the work, family, and education demands,” says Jennifer. “As a RN, there is never a ‘typical work week,’ and emergency situations sometimes arise, which can go beyond the workday. During my 18-month program, I lost a sister-in-law to ovarian cancer, and had two other family members undergo surgery and treatment for breast and colon cancer.” 

As hard as those challenges were, Jennifer says the professors in the AOE program at Keuka College understand the unpredictable demands of an adult student, “which makes Keuka College an excellent choice for mature students. It truly represents the College’s signature to Believe in What We Can Do Together!" she says.

The Support She Needed

In addition to the support shown by her professors, who are “prepared and willing to provide you with the tools you need to be successful in the program, and as a professional,” Jennifer says she could also count on the support of her cohort members.

“I anticipated I would learn much from the members of my cohort, but I never expected they would be such a wonderful support system that motivated, challenged, and encouraged me to excellence!” says Jennifer. “My cohort members consistently stepped forward to aid those of us who were overwhelmed, and provide a foundation of strength to overcome any obstacles— academic or personal—to achieve our educational goals and graduate outcomes.”

And while Jennifer learned from her cohort members, she also learned something from herself. 

“I was surprised to learn that the tools I had acquired from my associate’s degree could be revived with the aid of the professors from Keuka College,” says Jennifer. “Through the instruction of the Keuka College professors, I was able to become an effective speaker and writer, which I was not expecting.” 

In addition, Jennifer says she appreciated the College’s liberal arts foundation, which she believes prepared her not only for her professional role, but also to be a compassionate, empathetic, resourceful, and responsible member of the community.

I'm very thankful for my experience in the AOE program at Keuka College. I am forever a better person, leader, and community member. Thank you, Keuka College!

It’s Easy to Get Started

The admissions requirements for our RN to BSN program require you to be a working Registered Nurse (RN), while the Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program is designed for nurses who already have a bachelor's degree. Classes are held just one night each week at a location near you, and in most cases, you’ll be able to earn your degree in less than two years. 
Your admissions and enrollment counselors will walk you through every step of the admissions process, tell you exactly what courses you need and how long your program will take, and make sure all of your credits transfer correctly. 

If you’re ready to get started, why not have a conversation with an admissions counselor? Simply request more information today by filling out the form below or by calling (800) 335-3852.