Nikole McLean

January 2014 Cohort

North Branch, Michigan

MSN Candidate to Help Fill the Primary Care Provider Gap

Nursing@Simmons is proud to shine a spotlight on our students. This week, meet Nikole McLean who details her career as a nursing leader and why she decided to join Simmons.

As a nurse, I spent my first five years of clinical practice in the emergency department of a community hospital. It was there that I became aware of the vulnerabilities patients face and the necessary role of the nurse practitioners who holistically care for them.

As my career progressed I became a nurse manager with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), as well as the chief nursing officer of a long-term acute care hospital. Although I have advanced in my career over the past 12 years from clinician to administrator, my favorite times as a nurse have been while practicing clinically — taking care of patients, educating families, watching someone’s first breath, or holding someone’s hand through their last breaths.

I continue to feel a desire to provide care for vulnerable patient populations, but in a role that allows for a wider scope of clinical practice. There is a need for primary care providers across the country. With this in mind, I researched many family nurse practitioner programs and I was most impressed with the values of the Nursing@Simmons program at Simmons University.

The Simmons School of Nursing ensure that students proficiently perform necessary clinical skills before sending them into community clinical experiences.

Although the program is online, I feel very connected to the college, the instructors, and my peers. There is a culture of support, honesty, integrity, and dedication at Simmons that I have not experienced in other online programs.

I am excited to begin my nurse practitioner career as a Simmons University Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduate because I know I will be prepared to practice at a level that will affect my patients holistically and curatively.