Student, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN-BSN Option
Joy Snell was born in Illinois, but has lived in Houston most of her life. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Texas A&M, but quickly went on to pursue a nursing degree so she could become more involved in providing patient education to families.For the past 18 years, Joy has been a pediatric telephone triage nurse, mostly in a primary care setting.
Joy currently works for Texas Children’s Hospital (U.S. News and World Report’s #3 ranked children’s hospital in the nation). Her job as the Outpatient Pediatric Surgery nurse involves working with a fabulous multidisciplinary team, and challenges her to continue to learn and grow professionally truly every day.
When she's not working, Joy enjoys spending time with her family including her four children, ages 5 to 22. She is also passionate about traveling, photography, and cooking and considers joining the RN-BSN proghram at UTEP another step in her great adventure.
Joy plans to graduate with her BSN in December 2019.
Why she enrolled in the program:
I had considered returning to school many times over the years of my nursing career to complete my BSN. owever, a failed interview where I was unfortunately told I did not meet minimum criteria (lacking my BSN) for the position I sought was just the motivation I needed to translate my personal goal into action. Initially, I actually selected another competing online program to begin the enrollment process. However, I hit a few snags in the process, and safe to say their customer service was not on my side. I was aware that one of my coworkers at the time spoke very highly of UTEP, so I decided to give this program a try instead. I am so glad I did! From day one, the admissions team was there to help, guiding me through the application and enrollment process. In a very short time, I was accepted and about to begin my first course. I still remember the mixture of fear and excitement I felt in anticipation, but deep inside I was confident and committed to finish what I started.
Her experience with online learning:
Attending UTEP has been my first experience with online learning, and I have discovered I really appreciate and value this style of learning. It works very well for students needing to juggle multiple responsibilities, intertwining school with work and family. I recognize I am quite fortunate to work for a company that values work/life balance for its employees, making it possible for me to not only attend, but also excel in this program. I am proud to say I achieved my goal of completing the program with a 4.0 across the board.
Online learning worked very well for me. Over time, I grew to know students within my cohort going through the program. We offered support to each other. Simply receiving an encouraging text on occasion from a fellow student made a world of difference. Online discussion boards paralleled traditional classroom interaction. Learning assignments were creative and engaging, encouraging critical thinking and collaboration. I had time and flexibility to create my own school schedule, rather than being bound to a structured class meeting time. Additionally, over the course of the program, I discovered a few new things about myself. For example, surprisingly, I was quite intrigued by the course centering around nursing research. With the advancement of my degree, this very well may be an area of nursing I choose to pursue in the future.
On the support she received as an online student:
I absolutely was granted the support I needed from day one. Within this University, I found a place where I felt both welcome and a sense of belonging. From the very first step in the enrollment process, to degree planning, class registration, and a variety of direct experiences over time with different instructors, I always knew help was never further than a phone call away. Over and over, I found the faculty team to be understanding, devoted, and available to support me in every way possible.
What she would say to prospective online students:
This program is offered by a well-known, credible university and an immense amount of planning has gone into the development of each course ensuring students will come away being prepared to practice on a BSN level. It is hard work, but designed that way for a purpose, and well worth the effort. In looking back, my most challenging experiences in this program not only contributed to personal growth, but also solidified the foundation of knowledge gained.
On whether she would enroll in this program again if she had to do things over:
I would definitely enroll in this program again! I am most grateful for the superior education I received as a result of making the choice to attend UTEP. This program is ideal for self-motivated, hard-working, dedicated students committed to devoting the time and effort needed to navigate their own success. In parting, I would say….Believe in yourself. Commit to doing your best each and every day. Before you know it, you too will be looking back on your journey, celebrating your accomplishment.