Cortney Kulers

March 2016 Cohort

Eastern North Carolina

Ready to Meet the Need for Primary Care Providers in Her Community

I am a 32-year-old, full-time Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) student. Originally from Mount Olive, North Carolina, I currently live in eastern North Carolina and hope to stay in the area after I graduate in December 2017. I have been a nurse for 10 years in both hospital and outpatient office settings. I decided to pursue my MSN because there is an extreme shortage of primary care providers in my area. This fact, combined with my desire for a more autonomous role as a nurse, prompted me to start looking into going back to school.

I chose Nursing@Simmons because I liked the distance education platform and the live synchronous sessions that the program offered. I felt that the opportunity to have live classes in a virtual format would provide me with the education I needed, rather than learning through the discussion board formats offered by other online programs. The Nursing@Simmons curriculum is rigorous, and I felt that I would be well prepared for the boards and to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) after graduation.

During the admissions process, my Admissions Counselor was always there to assist me. I expected to experience the same dedicated support as a student, and I haven’t been disappointed. I have especially enjoyed working with Professor Mann and Professor Miles, two Nursing@Simmons faculty members, and my wonderful student support adviser.

One of my favorite parts of the program was the immersion weekend. It was great to finally meet the faculty and students who I had already formed connections with in my online classes. Passing the physical assessment check-off during the immersion weekend was a highlight for me. It was exciting to have been successful at that challenge!

So far my clinical placement experience has been wonderful. Using my network, I was actually able to find my clinical placement sites myself, but my placement specialist has been helpful in securing the required paperwork for each placement site and preceptor. My first rotation was at a women’s health clinic where I was able to see both OB and GYN patients. My clinical experiences have made me feel like all the work that I’ve done to get to this point has been worth it. During my first rotation, I provided direct care to patients and made decisions and treatment plans for them with the support and guidance of my preceptor. I am excited to continue these clinical placement rotations to help me become a confident, capable FNP.

After graduation, I would like to start in family practice and gain experience taking care of people of all ages. My goal is to work with underserved patients and be able to provide to those who need quality health care services the most.