Mary Kathleen Haber

March 2014 Cohort

Baltimore, Maryland

I have always been drawn to working with marginalized populations. In my first job, I served as an advocate for first-time offender teens in Baltimore. While working with this population, I began to develop an interest in the broader concept of health care within the United States. Before attending school to become an RN, I worked in public health research in a large, urban teaching hospital. In this role, I researched how to improve access to health care for low-income, inner-city mothers and how to reduce rates of HIV transmission among the inner-city population.

I decided to earn my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) because I wanted to continue providing holistic care to my patients, but within a broader scope of practice. I chose to pursue my MSN degree with Nursing@Simmons because I valued the history and tradition of Simmons College. I was immediately impressed with the innovative approach to online learning through the technology used in the Nursing@Simmons program, especially the ability to be in face-to-face classes with my peers. The synchronous class sessions made the Nursing@Simmons program stand out among the online programs I was considering.

In addition to the dedicated student support team, my favorite part about Simmons is the College’s commitment to making the world a better place. It’s not just Boston pride. It’s Simmons pride. Simmons is educating nursing leaders who are genuinely interested in making the world a better place. The Simmons faculty members take a holistic approach to health care and teach you to treat the patient as part of a family unit, not just as an individual. It’s unique to FNP care and Simmons’ mission.

The immersion experience really is the highlight of the whole program. The immersion weekend offers students an opportunity to build a lifelong network within the health care community by connecting with faculty and peers.

Since graduating from Nursing@Simmons and passing my boards, I am currently working in Baltimore as an FNP in a primary care outpatient setting. Fifty percent of my patients are on Medicare, and many are developmentally disabled since our office covers local group homes. I am certainly being challenged, but I love it! The education I got from Nursing@Simmons prepared me to serve my community as an FNP.