What is your current occupation and employer?
I am a DNP, FNP-C at an Urgent Care in New York’s Hudson Valley. I work 3, 12-hour days, and I love my job, the patients, my employer and co-workers. In New York State, NP’s have full independent practice; I have a lot of autonomy.
Why did you decided to return to school for your DNP degree?
Returning for my DNP was a personal goal of mine. I am in my early 30s, and I know I will be competing with younger NPs who have their DNPs in the future. I want to stay competitive and have options open for opportunities to practice in clinical settings as well as in academia.
What was your deciding factor in choosing Gonzaga?
I attended Gonzaga’s online program for my MSN-FNP and graduated in 2011. I love the online program and how available the professors and instructors were and are. During my MSN, we lived in Texas and for my DNP we live in New York. I never felt far from the school. There was always help and support when I needed it. I love what GU stands for and their Biblical view and holistic approach.
How was the online learning experience for you?
Doing an online program worked for me as I could study at any time that fit my schedule. I have a young family with two children and a third child on the way, so having the flexibility to study and work ahead of deadlines was important to me. Being on Blackboard with my peers made it feel like a community, and I developed relationships with those individuals. The on-campus immersions were a great way to put faces to names and to meet all the instructors.
What was your experience with the faculty? Peers?
The faculty was very easy to get in touch with. They were always available and made me, as a student, a priority. Through Skype, facetime, or Go-To-Meeting, I never felt “far” from them. All the faculty were a huge support for me in graduating. My peers and I were able to develop relationships via Blackboard and engage in group discussions, another great support system as we know exactly what each one of us is going through.
Did you find/are you finding the program to be a good investment?
The DNP program was a great investment. The cost was well worth it, and it was competitively priced. I felt that I received a great education and did not go broke while achieving it!
Speak to the experience of coming to campus for the immersion.
The On-campus immersions were a great way to put names to faces and to develop a strong relationship with both faculty and peers. GU always did a great job of making the time valuable and worth the trip.
What do you expect to change after receiving your DNP or what has changed thus far?
By achieving my DNP, I have achieved a personal lifetime goal. I am able to call myself, “Doctor”. Patients seem to respond well to the new title as do my peers at work. Since receiving my DNP, I have looked at my work with a more well rounded approach. Not only is it clinical, but now that I can apply theory, evidence-based medicine, and practice, I am more involved with policy making as well as what other NPs are doing. I am very happy I returned to GU for my DNP.
Dr. Meagan Soltwisch, DNP, FNP-C