Thinking about graduate school?

Megan Alexander, Program Manager for our graduate programs, is our guest blogger. 

Chances are, if you are reading this post you have thought about furthering your education.  This is great news and you should be excited about making this investment for your future!  Graduate degrees in nursing can prepare you for many different opportunities: degrees that lead to advanced practice certification, promote leadership development, help you become a world-renowned researcher, an educator, or some combination of the above.  So, how do you decide if you are ready to pursue graduate education?  How do you decide when the time is right?  Here are some things to consider:

What is your ultimate goal?

It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but sometimes you have to start at the end and work backwards to figure out your path.  Once you know where you are going, you will better be able to plan.  Think about goals you have for your career at 5, 10, even 20 years down the road.  Consider your strengths and the kind of work you most enjoy.  Network and informationally interview people who are in roles that interest you.  The more you learn, the more specific you can be and better communicate the type of program you are looking for.  This information will also help you plan for any work experience required for your chosen path.

What other commitments do you currently have?

Graduate School is an investment, one that will require a significant amount of time and resources from yourself and from those who support you.  If you have family responsibilities or a job that requires a high level of attention, you will want to keep that in mind when considering programs.

What is the return on your investment?

You have likely heard that education pays, and in the nursing profession, it generally does.  With additional education and experience, some salary ranges can be double what you earn now.  Explore salaries of positions you aspire to be in one day and learn the approximate cost of your education. This will help you determine if your investment will be worthwhile in the end.


As a prospective student this is one of the most important steps, but should occur once you are able to articulate what you are looking for in a program.  You could be considering a few different paths, and that is fine!  Researching opportunities can help you refine your goals and learn more about what is available.  It is extremely important to learn about specific program deadlines for admission and what items will be needed to apply.  Some programs require applications to be submitted up to a year in advance and you will want to be prepared to meet the deadlines.  Finally, keeping a list of questions you would like answered by each program will help you stay organized and compare programs to fit your goals.

The decision to continue your education in graduate school should be one that is right for you.  You will be doing the work, after all!  When you are ready to discuss options available at the College of Nursing, visit our website, send us an email (, or give us a call (614.292.4041).  We would be happy to help you and share what we have to offer.

Under Pressure

There have been numerous stressors that I have dealt with in my new job. The number one stress I find is patient understanding during high volume times. It may sound kind of funny to some people, but working in a trauma center emergency room, it can be a tough one. It’s frustrating for most patients when we are beyond busy.

Fortunately, we have a Spiritual Care team that frequently comes around our department and I have stocked up on their aromatherapy samples and I use those while unwinding after a long night shift before bed. Other ways to handle the stress on the job is just simply taking a second to myself and go in the break room, get a drink of water or something to eat and just relax for a quick second. That type of time is extremely valuable in the place I work, even if it is just for a second. Most importantly, in my off time, I work out, work out, work out!

If there was something I could have done differently in handling my stress, it would be to have prepared for it further in advance. In other words, take the classes that are meant to prepare nursing students for the real deal SERIOUSLY! I remember simple things like this were touched on in some of the classes and now I understand why.

I can’t stress the importance of self-care for young alumni. When that is under control, it makes dealing with stress much easier and the more practice you have with it, the more tolerable it will be. Even though our patients are our number one priority, at the end of the day, we are our most important patient to take care of.

My advice for students:  enforce and work on self-care now if it is not already important to you. Don’t take any of the information in the nursing classes that seems silly with a grain of salt – it all plays into hand. Also, most definitely find out what works for you with managing stress now and practice that as you engage more with your nursing career. I may have learned more so the harder way, but it is SO important to be able to manage stress properly because even the slightest “off day” or outside stressor may impact the patient care you provide.

Sydney Adelstein is 2016 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Nursing. 

Life After College

In the weeks leading up to graduation, I was very busy planning my post-graduate life. I applied to several different positions, arranged many interviews, and signed up to take the NCLEX at the earliest possible time. I met with my PCA/SNA (Patient Care Associate/Student Nurse Associate) manager to discuss interview tactics and was offered an interview for a position in the ICU Float Pool, the position I would eventually accept. Every new grad at OSU is placed in the residency program, which is a great resource. It meets monthly and allows time to speak with other new grads and discuss different topics relevant to healthcare.

I am currently entering into my second year as an RN and have several goals, some of which I’ve already met. I’m currently a ULC (Unit Leadership Council) member, organizing education, fundraising, and social events for my unit. In addition, I’m helping to educate and precept new staff. I’m studying for my CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) exam, which provides additional certification in critical care.

I think it’s important to have a plan or a list of goals you’re hoping to accomplish. It’s okay if your plan changes frequently because you will change in the course of your career. Stay true to your values and have faith in yourself and your abilities.

Meet our Blogger: Kate Best

best-kateHey there! My name is Kate Best. I’m currently working as an ICU RN. I grew up in the small city of Chardon, Ohio, but came to Columbus for college. I graduated from The Ohio State University College of Nursing in May 2015.

Throughout primary school, I was a huge science nerd. I competed in Science Olympiad, which gave me and introduction to anatomy and physiology. When I was in middle school, my sister was hit by a car and life-flighted to a trauma center. The nurses’ critical role in her recovery inspired me to become a nurse.

The best advice I’ve ever received came from my father, as he quoted my German great-grandmother, who died before I was born- “gutes tun”. It means “do good” in German. Each day, I try to do good things for others, slowly making a difference.

In my spare time, I enjoy outdoor pursuits- hiking, trail running, and rock climbing. I can be found at the bottom of the rock wall with an extensive first aid kit, complete with oral airways and a c-collar to alleviate my irrational fears of someone falling and needing full trauma triage. Regardless of how stressful a shift or how tiring a hiking trip, I am lucky to come home to two of the cuddliest cats in existence. I’ll totally admit to being a cat lady.

I really enjoy working with students, so I’m really excited about this blog. I’m looking forward to hearing what my fellow alumni are up to as well!

Meet our Blogger: Sydney Adelstein

adelstein-sydneyMy name is Sydney Adelstein, I graduated this May – 2016, and I’m from Cleveland, Ohio.  Obviously I’m a new graduate nurse (yes that is a position title that is placed on my badge until I am no longer less than a year or two out of nursing school) in the ER at one of Cleveland Clinic’s regional hospitals.  To be honest, the number one reason that originally pushed me into the field of nursing was the idea that I knew I did not want to be working in a chair or some form of business-ey type job for the rest of my working years.  I always knew I wanted to do medicine, just wasn’t quite sure what right up until the week of my OSU orientation.  I switched from Pharmacy, to Athletic Training, to Physical Therapy and then finally to Nursing and have not wished otherwise ever since!  And obviously I have to give credit to my parents for the push into nursing as well.

The best advice I have gotten over my four years of college and nursing school is definitely to not be scared to get your feet wet, and as cliché as it sounds, hard work really does pay off – and that goes for a multitude of aspects of life, not just my career.  Going into nursing school, and the beginnings of my career, not afraid of what to expect has helped me become, and continue to become, the nurse that I have become today and see myself growing to be.  It makes a world of difference, and people notice it!  I am super excited to be able to share all I have learned, experienced, and am currently experiencing with fellow CON people.  It has been nothing but a crazy ride for me that I am very grateful for.