Jordain Oshel’s first career instinct as a high school student was to work in healthcare. She decided that nursing would be a good fit after meeting Dr. Brooke McAtee, the current director of nursing at Northwest Missouri State University.
Oshel first met Dr. McAtee at North Central Missouri College (NCMC), where she obtained her Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), enabling her to work as an RN in the field. So, when she was looking to take the next step, the online RN to BSN program at Northwest seemed like an ideal fit for her, especially because Dr. McAtee had also made the transition.
“She encouraged me to go to Northwest. It was familiar, and I wanted to get my degree. Their price was good, and they are willing to help you,” Oshel said.
The first meeting would signal a decisive shift in her life’s direction, making sense because others in her family had worked in the field before her. She saw nursing as a good opportunity to give back to the small community she grew up in.
“My grandma worked in a nursing home. She is retired now. But my mom is a clinic nurse,” said Oshel.
Taking on Challenges
Though they were ultimately supportive, her mother and grandmother were concerned about her pursuing it as a career.
“They were nervous about me doing it because they know it’s hard. They kind of didn’t want me to do it, honestly. Because they know it’s emotionally straining on them,” said Oshel who prides herself on her bedside manner.
Based in Trenton, Missouri, Oshel works nights at Wright Memorial Hospital, a facility in the Saint Luke’s Health System. Since July of 2019, she has worked as a medical-surgical nurse dealing with a wide range of inpatient needs.
“We have a variety of patients… [like] post-op hips, that are swing bed patients, meaning they’re getting therapy. We’re there to help them with that,” she said. “We have a lot of IV antibiotics, sepsis and bacteremia patients. I live in a really small town. If there’s an emergency in the ER, they require us to go over and help, too.”
Making It Work
The online format of Northwest’s RN to BSN program has allowed Oshel to complete assignments while maintaining her difficult schedule. It has even connected her with other nurses, some former classmates from NCMC and new contacts with whom she keeps in touch outside of class. They were able to discuss assignments and compare notes about the rigors of the job.
“I felt it worked very well. It was very well organized and easy to use,” Oshel said.
She admits that completing the program while working full time was not easy, certainly not for her family, but it was worth the effort.
“My family really had it hard for a year and a half because they had to deal with me being grouchy all that time,” she said. “It’s hard because I work nights, so I have to balance sleeping, working and doing homework all at the same time and spending time with my family.”
Oshel gained a better understanding of research and valuable insights from the projects centered around evidence-based practice. This is a key part of the process, which she sees as a natural developmental step for her career moving forward.
“The program is pushing you toward management and how to manage a team,” she said of gaining leadership skills through RN to BSN coursework.
Answering the Call
Having completed the program in December of 2020, she is already considering further educational opportunities. Graduate school is high on her list of priorities because she envisions having a greater role in developing the next generation of nurses.
“I would like to be a nurse educator someday,” Oshel said. “Getting my master’s in nursing education from Northwest is probably my plan.”
She’s been in the field long enough to recognize that being a nurse is more a mindset than a profession. To a certain degree, nursing is a calling for those with the ability to connect with patients as a necessary part of caring for them.
“Some people go through nursing, and you can tell they don’t have a passion for it. They’re just not as good with patients. The patients can tell,” she explained, noting that the skills nurses acquire through formal learning can only take them so far.
Oshel encourages prospective students considering an RN to BSN program to take that step at Northwest.
“I would tell them to do it. It’s going to be worth it in the end,” she said. “They might be stressed, but [I would say to] keep pushing. Reach out to the staff because they’re always there and willing to help you.”
Her favorite way to relieve stress is by spending time with her family and going on adventures with her fur babies — golden retriever, Ellie, and black lab, Willow.
Learn more about Northwest Missouri State University’s online RN to BSN program.