doctor of nursing practice

Tanya Rettig is in her final year at Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor’s DNP program. She is also a current nursing intern at a middle school in her area. Check out her answers about her experience below.

Why did you choose Concordia?

I completed my Master of Science in Nursing from Concordia in 2017, so this was a smooth transition for me. I chose Concordia for my MSN because I could get a strong education in the form of a hybrid program. Although I moved states in the middle of my degree, CUW supported me as I found new rotations. I’m excited to be back in a program that I knew would support my lifestyle while still challenging me. 

What are you hoping to do with your degree when you finish? 

Upon graduating, I’m immediately moving with my husband in the military to a location that has not been decided for us as of yet. Moving around the country with a family very frequently, nursing and specifically the doctorate in nursing allows me the flexibility of practice. I enjoy teaching nursing, so my short-term goal is to continue teaching in the clinical setting and my long-term goal would be to have one foot in practice and the other in teaching collegiate-level nursing. 

RELATED: Read about an asthma detection program Tanya implemented at her local school.

What are a few challenges you encountered as a nursing student?

Nursing school is difficult. In fact, research supports that it is one of the most difficult undergraduate degrees. Additionally the same could be said for the graduate level. Time management, school/work/life balance, and stress can really feel overwhelming at times. 

However, nursing is not an island- not in work or in school. Advocating for yourself, asking for help, and being willing to help others will lead to more manageable success. Start practicing self-care in school and it will translate to your professional and personal life. 

CUW nursing has been so beneficial when it comes to flexibility and the collaboration with classmates and staff remotely. It is wonderful to feel so supported in my work despite being online for most meetings and classes. 

Tanya Rettig

What advice would you give an individual contemplating a nursing degree?

Nursing is a wonderful career. It’s flexible, gives back to you, and it’s life-changing for your patients. It’s hard work and some days are really tough. But, you wouldn’t be human if some days didn’t make you question your career choice.

However, every day you go to work remember that you’re dedicated to making an impact in someone’s life, possibly even saving it. In that case, it is the most rewarding career. 

What motivated/supported you through our program? 

Remembering my purpose was a key motivator throughout the program. My husband, my kids, my family, the students I teach, and the patients I care for remind me that I’m choosing a path that can support each of them. I also have had wonderful support from Concordia. 

I did experience a time in which I had to restart my doctoral project part of the way through the program. Without the support of my professors and program director, I’m not sure that I would be here providing this interview. 

Would you recommend your program to others and why?

Concordia’s online program is a great way to complete a degree with flexibility. This program feels like you are working alongside experienced colleagues in a collaborative effort to reach the terminal degree. 

The 8-week intensive classes are indeed thorough and challenging but allow for a focus on one class and topic at a time. Classes integrate experts in the field of nursing and business leadership to prepare nurses for certain leadership expectations in the future. 

What is your advice to future students?

Balance. Enjoy your time as a student. School is wonderful. It’s a time to socialize, grow, and learn what you like and what you don’t. You may even learn about something you never knew you wanted to learn about and grow as a human being. 

It doesn’t have to be just a means to an end if you can find ways for it to reinvigorate you along the way. Being a lifelong learner is a wonderful attribute to have, so keep that in your mindset. 

Ready to accomplish your dream?

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