UofSC Aiken Prepares Mother and Daughter for the Future of Nursing

It is said that two heads are better than one, and this mother-daughter duo would certainly agree. Christy Poole is on track to finish the Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) online program at the University of South Carolina Aiken in August of 2021. She will cross the stage in the December graduation ceremony on the same day as her daughter, Ashley Poole, who will be completing the in-person BSN program.

“The hospitals in the surrounding area are requiring nursing applicants to have their BSN, which is something that I’ve always wanted to pursue,” Christy said, noting that a busy family life with her husband and three children had kept her from obtaining the degree earlier.

Talking to UofSC Aiken nursing faculty member Dr. Joyce Pompey helped Christy realize that she could keep her full-time job in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) if she chose an online program. She finally made the leap in 2020 and decided she would have to make the time for school in order to stay employable.

Taking just one online course at a time allowed Christy to keep working and earn her BSN in less than two years. While she was apprehensive about the online format of the program, she crossed the finish line with A’s in all her courses.

Support Systems

Christy completed undergraduate coursework at UofSC Aiken in 1996 to earn her RN license. She found comfort in returning to her alma mater for a BSN. Having a daughter who was also in the UofSC Aiken nursing program brought some advantages, helping Christy acclimate quickly.

“I had been out of school almost 25 years,” she said. “I didn’t know how I was going to do with online learning and getting back into the swing of being a student again. I have come a long way on my own, but it definitely helped to have somebody who was knowledgeable to assist me in navigating the system.”

Moreover, Christy admired the professors for their expertise and appreciated the timeliness of their responses whenever she had questions.

Mother and daughter shared books as Ashley attended in-person classes for 16 weeks, while Christy’s own courses lasted seven-weeks each. Ashley could also refresh her mom’s memory about courses taken a while back.

“Several years ago, I had an aha moment, and I realized what I was doing as a nurse is what I’m called to do. I love serving and helping others,” Christy said. “My daughter is the same way. She has a lot of characteristics like me, and she’s got a good heart.”

Both Ashley and Christy enjoy the opportunity to reach out, educate or simply listen to others who need a friendly ear. In addition, Christy loves nursing for the opportunities it offers to always be learning something new. The courses in UofSC Aiken’s online RN to BSN program fed that passion and even piqued her interest in research when she learned what makes editorial, informational and peer-reviewed papers different from one another.

A Way Forward

While Christy found all her courses in UofSC Aiken’s online RN to BSN program enlightening, her favorite was Community Health Nursing, which reached her on a deeper level.

“That course opened my eyes to where our healthcare system is now, where it was and where it is going. It made me want to get involved with community services,” she said.

Christy credits the program with giving her better communication skills in addition to improved clinical skills. She has recommended it to others, even supporting newer nurses by telling them what to expect along the way.

“The RN to BSN program at UofSC Aiken gave me confidence and the ability to articulate what I want to say in a professional way. I’ve expanded both my knowledge and my vocabulary,” she said.

While she loves her job in the PACU, Christy acknowledges that having a BSN will make her more marketable and may eventually lead her toward a non-clinical position when she gets older.

In her free time, she enjoys working out, spending time with family, and going boating. She expects next year will be packed with activity, what with Ashley’s upcoming wedding and a senior who will be graduating. She looks forward to volunteering in the community with her husband.

“That may lead into community nursing,” she said. “I would like to volunteer my time to help those who are less fortunate.”

With a giving spirit and passion for what she does, Christy Poole’s future is looking bright.

Learn more about UofSC Aiken’s RN to BSN online program.

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