Deborah “Debbie” Poche

May 2015 Cohort

Brockton, Massachusetts

Self-Proclaimed “Lifelong Student” Takes the Next Step in Her Education and Career

I am what many call a lifelong student. In 1983, I graduated from Brockton Hospital School of Nursing, and in 2012, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Curry College. Now, at the age of 55, I am close to achieving my greatest accomplishment — becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with Nursing@Simmons.

I have been a nurse for more than 20 years. Throughout my career, I have gained a lot of bedside experience as well as experience in health care management. Currently, I am the outreach coordinator for the trauma team at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Massachusetts, where I work in the community, teaching trauma prevention programs to people of all ages. My love for nursing has come from witnessing how care and compassion impact the lives of sick people and their families.

I realized early on as a bedside nurse that the care I provide for patients, unfortunately, ends upon their discharge from the hospital. I began to think about treating patients in a primary care setting and how much of a difference I could make. I have a passion for fitness and wellness with a focus on prevention of comorbidities, which we so often see in primary care. It is because of this that I have decided to earn my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and become an FNP.

After I decided to further my education, I did a lot of research into programs that offered the best online master’s experience. Nursing@Simmons came up in my search as one of the top 10 online programs in the country. It was an easy choice for me. Living in the Boston area, I always knew Simmons College to have a prestigious nursing school, and the fact that its MSN program was delivered online was ideal.

As a student, I haven’t been disappointed. The program’s asynchronous material really has prepared me well for the FNP role. Even through the online delivery, I feel so connected to my instructors, peers, and support specialists. I don’t feel like I am just a name. After two years in the program, I have made so many friends — both near and far. Also, I love being able to choose class days and hours that work best for my life and being able to connect to the platform from anywhere with my laptop. One of my favorite parts of the program has been the immersion weekend — I had so much fun! It was great to meet all of my classmates in person, and the faculty and staff were so supportive throughout the physical exam and suturing sessions. The positive energy was motivating and wonderfully contagious!

After graduation, I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family, friends, and grandchildren (hopefully on vacation somewhere warm). After I pass the boards, I would like to work in a family practice or specialize in cardiac care as an FNP.