Sherika Jones

November 2014 Cohort

Glen Allen, Virginia

RN Inspired to Help Underserved Populations

I believe that Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) can play an important role in primary care settings, particularly in communities with underserved populations. FNPs are equipped to provide quality primary health care services to individuals at all stages of life — from infancy through adulthood. More FNPs means there are more skilled and knowledgeable health care professionals who can provide preventive care and education to at-risk populations. Together, we can decrease illness in these areas, or at the very least, slow down the rate of progression.

My decision to apply for the Nursing@Simmons online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program happened two years ago. Having faced — and survived — a health crisis of my own, I realized it was time to live each day to its fullest. I decided I was going to go for it and accomplish my dream of becoming an FNP.

I am so thankful that I chose Simmons University. I look forward to attending my live sessions each week and love the opportunity to share what I am learning with my colleagues.

The live, online classroom set up is just one of the tremendous advantages Nursing@Simmons has over other online programs. I appreciate the fact that I can interact with my professors and classmates just as if I were on campus. I also enjoy having the 2SN app. It allows me to access my classes, watch recordings, and review course materials from wherever I am and whenever it is convenient for me. I use the app to listen to lectures while I’m driving to work or waiting for my kids to finish swimming practice or playing soccer.

I love that I don’t have to wait to apply the lessons I’m learning in the classroom — I can use it in my current role as a Registered Nurse (RN). For example, my Pharmacology class has made it possible for me to provide better care for my patients who are prescribed medications. Instead of just dispensing the prescription, I can answer their questions and better understand why they were given that prescription in the first place.  

I have been a nurse for five years. My first nursing job was in an inpatient physical rehabilitation setting. From there, I went to a busy telemetry floor and now I am a float pool nurse. I usually work in a progressive care unit and occasionally in medical-surgical and orthopedic units. Once I become an FNP, I hope to work with underserved populations, specifically helping them with hypertension management, and provide primary care in communities where there are higher levels of poverty and few health care providers to serve them. Eventually I would also like to work in women’s health.

If I could tell a future Nursing@Simmons FNP student one thing, I would say, go for it! Simmons University is a very reputable school that’s known for providing a top-notch education. I am getting the best education from experienced and highly educated faculty, while collaborating with colleagues across the country. The program is convenient and flexible; therefore, there is no reason to put off advancing your education any longer. I love my experience with Nursing@Simmons so much that I hope to inspire my husband, also an RN, to enroll in the program. I am truly experiencing a Simmons education and look forward to completing the program and practicing as a Family Nurse Practitioner.