Peter Magri is a student in our new online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing program. He explains why he enrolled here at CUNY SPS and what he expects to gain from his degree.

Peter Magri

1. Why did you choose to continue your education at CUNY SPS?

CUNY SPS offered the sense of continuity for me within the CUNY system since I had recently graduated from the Nursing Program at Queensborough Community College. I had come to trust the faculty at QCC and thought that it would be a good fit. I also was happy to hear that SPS used BlackBoard, which was also used at QCC, so the online demographic would be easy to fit into.

2. What is the single most important professional or personal goal that you would like to achieve during your studies at CUNY SPS or after graduation?

I would really like to land a job as a nurse. I have been on so many interviews and have applied to countless jobs and have yet to be hired in a hospital. I would like to get into critical care or the fast pace of a busy ER to really prove my skill sets to myself and those from nursing school.

3. How have you grown intellectually as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?

I have definitely broadened my assessment techniques and understand the body and how it works because of the Pathophysiology class I took. I also have learned so much about culture and teaching and how important it is to incorporate a patient’s culture in the plan of care.

4. What advice would you offer to someone considering applying for admission to the program?

APPLY! I am so glad I did. The faculty are warm and are always there to assist you through anything that may concern you. You may feel that since it is an online program that you would get lost in the shuffle, but there is nothing further from the truth. They’re there with you every step of the way.

We also asked Peter a few fun questions about his life and his studies.

1. Place of residence: Franklin Square, New York.

2. Favorite CUNY SPS course: NURS301-Assessment.

3. Weirdest place you have studied: Oh God…really??? OK—the toilet.

4. Your favorite music to play while studying: I actually don’t like to listen to music while I study; I like to have CNN on in the background.

5. Best thing about your community or NYC: It’s close to Manhattan and my parents live just down the block from me! Always get great home-cooked meals!

Thank you, Peter, for bringing such a positive attitude about online learning and a passion for the field of nursing to your work here at CUNY SPS!

Professor Stacey Murphy teaches in the CUNY SPS Health Information Management program and shares her thoughts on motivating students to learn and health care systems.

Stacey Murphy Health Information Management Faculty

1. Who or what inspired you to join the health care field?

During my junior year of high school I had a job where my supervisor, a clerk, gave me the opportunity to code some records. At that time, everything was on paper so I learned completely from scratch.

2. How do you get your students excited about subject matters such as medical billing and coding in an online learning environment?

In the classroom, we share real life experiences with students and ask them to do the same. In our discussion boards, everyone participates and has unique questions. Students find ways to engage with one another in order to answer each other’s questions. I also always advise my students to not become frustrated with the work. Coding takes time; it’s not something that can be memorized.

3. Are there any attributes of other countries’ health care systems that you would like to see adopted by the U.S.?

The World Health Organization (WHO) developed the ICD-10 Coding System. Approximately 25 countries currently use the ICD-10 Coding System. Some use it for morbidity/mortality statistics and others for resource allocation and reimbursement purposes. Australia, Sweden and Netherlands began using it as early as the 1990’s. Canada, China and France began using it in 2000’s. Of record, the most recent country to adopt ICD-10 is Dubai in 2012. The U.S. was scheduled to adopt ICD-10 on October 1, 2011. The implementation date was delayed to 2013, 2014 and again to October 1, 2015. Physician medical associations nationwide have asked Congress for yet another delay, which will delay implementation to October 1, 2017. What is the future of ICD-10 in the U.S.? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

4. As a health care professional, which piece of technology do you think has most benefitted the field?

The online class platform. For me, as an adult learner and professor, I wasn’t initially sold on the benefits of online learning. However, I was faced with certain adversities in life so I went online and realized how much this platform has to offer. Of course, the person running the class makes all the difference in student learning outcomes.

5. What changes do you foresee occurring in the U.S. health care system within the next decade?

Electronic medical records across the board would be a great thing, especially for the consumer since it gives greater access to information.

Professor Murphy also shares some personal information.

1. Favorite spot vacation (so far): Las Vegas. It reminds me of NYC; another city that never sleeps.

2. Best song to listen to after a long day: Mary J. Blige.

3. Greatest piece of advice you have received: Don’t set high expectations for others. You’ll always be upset and disappointed if they don’t meet them.

4. What you’re reading right now: ITTIO PCS Resources (for my January prep class).

5. The person you most admire: Maryanne Rice, my mentor and the first person that inspired me to get involved in the HIM field.

6. If I wasn’t a professor, I would be a: Nurse, but I don’t like blood and needles. 7. Best part of living in NY: It’s the city that never sleeps! And, all of the employment opportunities.

7. First thing you would say to the Queen of England upon meeting her (Stacey aspires to meet the Queen one day): I would start crying first and then gain the courage to say, “It’s truly a pleasure to meet your acquaintance.”

Thanks, Professor Murphy! So many of the HIM faculty who we’ve spoken with have shared the importance of a strong mentor. I’m sure you are fast becoming a mentor to CUNY SPS students.

Cami Dreyer is a student in our online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (R.N. to B.S. in Nursing) program. She shares her motivations for achieving her educational and professional goals.

Cami Dreyer, Online Nursing student at CUNY SPS

1. Why did you choose to continue your education at CUNY SPS?

This past summer I received my AAS is in nursing and achieved my dream of becoming an RN. While in that program, I was notified about a new, fully online RN to BSN program at CUNY SPS. I knew this would give me the freedom to job hunt and enter the workforce while continuing to work towards the coveted BSN that is now required by most hospitals. I had heard great things about SPS, so I decided to make the leap!

2. What is the single most important professional or personal goal that you would like to achieve during your studies at CUNY SPS or after graduation?

Quite simply, to achieve my Bachelors of Applied Science in Nursing!

3. How have you grown intellectually as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?

Even though it has only been a little over a month, I have already grown so much! Learning here at SPS goes beyond knowledge and comprehension. SPS is pushing me to apply, analyze, and evaluate the material I learn. In addition, my writing abilities and my sense of how to approach assignments has greatly improved.

4. What advice would you offer to someone considering applying for admission to the program?

If you have other responsibilities, start slow with one or two classes to get the feel for the online format. If you are self-motivated, do IT! You won’t regret it.

Cami also shares some fun facts about her life.

1. Place of residence: Park Slope, Brooklyn.

2. Favorite CUNY SPS course: Physical Assessment.

3. Weirdest place you have studied: While walking through a street fair.

4. Your favorite music to play while studying: Classical.

5. Best thing about your community or NYC: Diversity.

Thank you for sharing all of this with us, Cami. Can you give us your best tip on how to study while walking?

As I helped my 4 year old son with his homework on a recent evening, I kept on insisting that he “stay within the lines” as he colored in his assignment.  This scene repeated itself for several minutes, as we both grew increasingly frustrated with each other.  My son could not understand why I did not acknowledge how beautiful he thought his coloring was, all I seemed to see were the “mistakes.”  I finally caught myself and realized what I was doing.

Sometimes we do the same thing when we think of our lives.  I’m sure there are moments when “staying within the lines” is important; take for instance respecting the limits that laws place on our behavior or even just staying in our lanes when we drive.  Moving beyond these sometimes literal ways of “staying within the lines,” what happens when we live our entire life that way?  Always focusing on what is wrong?  Or never reaching out for more because we can’t see beyond the limits we place on ourselves?  We miss out on how beautiful life can be when we don’t take chances and when we can’t see a lesson in what may seem like a mistake or failure.  I learned from that short moment with my son that our lives don’t have to be perfect to be good.  What we perceive as an imperfection may be what makes our lives that much more beautiful.

So, this is a reminder to focus on the good, savor your life, and don’t be afraid to try something new.  You’ll hold up your picture one day and be surprised at how beautiful it is.

Stephanie Perez is in her final year at CUNY SPS, majoring in Sociology. When she is not busy joining her four year old son on his daily adventures, she likes to spend her time reading, cooking, and dancing to her favorite music. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in human rights law and advocacy.

Alexandra Chang is a student in our online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (R.N. to B.S. in Nursing) program. She shares some of thoughts about her future as a nurse.

Alexandra Chang is a student in our online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (R.N. to B.S. in Nursing) program
1. Why did you choose to continue your education at CUNY SPS?

My brain kicks in at the strangest times 9pm, 12am… 2:37 pm and 47 seconds – rarely when other “normal” humans go to school. I appreciate that I can work when my brain is most active; my work is of better quality and more enjoyable to complete. Also, it gives me the flexibility to work any schedule.

2. What is the single most important professional or personal goal that you would like to achieve during your studies at CUNY SPS or after graduation?

I aspire to be a traveling Trauma Registered Nurse. CUNY SPS gives me the opportunity to be more marketable to employers because I can work any shift and location. Because it’s online, I may even be able to start taking travel assignments before actually graduating from the program.

3. How have you grown intellectually as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?

I rave about my studies—I’m not even joking. The research required for SPS allows me to learn about topics that I’m not only interested in, but can apply to my career TODAY! I find myself sharing what I’ve learned with my colleagues and patients all the time. CUNY SPS has made me more competent in my career.

4. What advice would you offer to someone considering applying for admission to the program?

While I find the research refreshing, it definitely requires time and commitment. If you’re the kind of self-motivating person who does independent research “for fun,” then CUNY SPS should be the perfect fit.

Alexandra also shares some fun facts about her life.

1. Place of residence: Harlem.

2. Favorite CUNY SPS course: NURS301 (so far).

3. Weirdest place you have studied: Tattoo Parlor.

4. Your favorite music to play while studying: Trip Hop.

5. Best thing about your community or NYC: Everyone belongs.

You studied in a tattoo parlor! That’s too funny. Our only follow up question is whether or not you were getting a tattoo while studying?

Dr. Eileene Shake is a professor in our new BA in Nursing online degree program. Dr. Shake shares her own experiences as a nurse and some advice for her current students.

Dr. Eileene Shake

 

1. How is your semester going so far? Any major surprises?

No major surprises. I enjoy teaching online. I was one of the early online education adopter at University of South Carolina and have been teaching online courses on the graduate and undergraduate levels for six years, so this is nothing new to me.

2. Can you identify one piece of technology (whether real or fictitious) or policy that would completely change the face of the nursing profession?

I would love to see a platform that engages and encourages more nursing research faculty and nursing PhD holders to teach online. Many nursing research faculty believe that nothing can replace the face-to-face classroom experience, so they’ll need a system that’s more user-friendly, interactive, and personable to entice them to teach online.

3. As with all nurses, I’m sure you encountered some interesting situations and people while in the field. What’s you “I cannot believe that just happened” story?

It seems like just yesterday, September 2011. I was a nurse educator at the University of South Carolina and the Director of the USC Center for Nursing Leadership. We had just submitted our application to the Campaign for Action to become the South Carolina One Voice One Plan Future of Nursing Action Coalition and were waiting to hear if we would be chosen. Representing the USC Center for Nursing Leadership, I would be one of the two Co-leaders for the Action Coalition if we were accepted.

I, like other nurse leaders, wanted to play a key role in implementing the transformative Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations so that we could improve both access to health care services and the quality of health care being delivered. Fast-forward to October 2014, and I can’t believe what has happened! Three years have passed and I have worked in four roles that focus on various Campaigns for Action initiatives to implement the recommendations to lead change and advance health. During this time, I also continued to work as a nurse educator, presented at conferences, and developed and taught various nursing leadership courses.

I can’t believe what I learned over the past three years! Nurses are the most trusted professionals according to national polls and they are well prepared to serve in leadership roles to transform health care. However, there is still work left to do as nurses have not been seen as leaders who can serve on hospital, state, and federal boards. Therefore, I will continue to work on initiatives to implement the IOM Future of Nursing recommendations, and support current and future nurse leaders who aspire to run for these leadership appointments.

4. Do you ever miss wearing scrubs?

I never wore scrubs much, but I certainly miss being on the front line and having personal experiences with patients.

5. What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to nursing students?

I encourage my students to recognize the importance of their ideas and the impact that they have of the future of the health care system in this country. Many of them don’t realize the role that they play within the nursing community. I love helping students grow and reinforce that the profession is much more than just memorizing content. When they graduate from their programs, I want them to feel ready and comfortable with sharing their ideas, regardless of where they go or what they do.

Dr. Shake also shares some fun facts about her life.

1. Favorite article of fall clothing: A sweater.

2. Best song or artist to listen to after a long day: Enya.

3. What you’re reading right now: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

4. Best BBQ – North or South Carolina: North Carolina.

5. Last time you laughed so hard you cried: Whenever I think about some of the things my grandchildren say. There are 7 of them, ages 5 to 20 years old.

6. First thing that comes to mind when you think of NYC: Plays. The theatre.

We look forward to learning more about the nursing profession through the wealth of experience and expertise you bring to CUNY SPS.

Bonnie L. Johnson is a faculty member in our new BA in Human Relations program. She is a teacher and leader in the areas of multicultural relations and social change. A graduate of NYU and Women’s History at Sarah Lawrence College, Johnson has developed and taught courses in African American Women’s History, Black and Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies and Adult Education at several colleges. She has been an adjunct professor with the CUNY School of Professional Studies for more than 8 years, and will teach Foundations of Human Relations in the spring 2015 term. Professor Johnson shares her thoughts on leadership, the student experience, and more.

Professor Bonnie L. Johnson , Human Relations Program CUNY SPS
1. How is your semester going so far? Any major surprises with the launch of the BA in Human Relations program?

Absolutely. The classes are larger than I’m used to. But it’s fun; they’re all good people.

2. Which five qualities should leaders cultivate in order to thrive within today’s work environment?

1) Authenticity; 2) Do what you say you’re going to do; 3) Believe in yourself and in your followers; 4) Honesty; and 5) Have a vision.

3. You seem to have a knack for being on camera. Have you always been this poised and confident?

No. I’m actually very shy, although students would disagree with that. When I’m in front of a classroom I’m in charge and I guess that comes through on camera, too. I like what I do. I’m a teacher. That’s who I am.

4. What’s coming up for you on the professional front?

I’m getting ready to teach winter session, which, phew, I don’t know. A three-credit course in three weeks. It’s a lot to do, but I’m looking forward to it. I like a challenge.

Professor Johnson also shares some fun facts about her life.

1. Favorite article of fall clothing: A sweatshirt.

2. Best song to listen to after a long day: Anything by Aretha Franklin. I just downloaded her new album where she covers Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.

3. What you’re reading right now: My textbooks. Oh, and Fire Shut Up in My Bones. It’s brilliant.

4. Your claim to fame family recipe: Black eyed peas. With ham.

5. Last time you laughed so hard you cried: In class this semester. I was teaching Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, starting with the physiological needs—things you need in your life to survive. So I went around the classroom and asked my students what they think belongs in that category, and one of them said: “Sex. People say you can die if you go without having sex for a long period of time.”

Thanks, Professor Johnson!

We’ll go and pick up a copy of Fire Shut Up in My Bones this weekend.

Brenda Burns is a current student in our new BA in Human Relations degree program. Read about her experiences here at the CUNY School of Professional Studies.

Brenda Burns, current student in CUNY SPS BA Human Relations program

1. Why did you choose to continue your education at CUNY SPS?

I continued my education at CUNY SPS because they offered the new B.A. program in Human Relations.

2. What is the single most important professional or personal goal that you would like to achieve during your studies at CUNY SPS or after graduation?

My goal during or after graduation is to be a guidance counselor in a school or a counselor in another organization helping children.

3. How have you grown intellectually as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?

I have definitely have grown intellectually more than I could have imagined as a result of enrolling with CUNY SPS. I’m forever grateful for all that I’ve learn in the courses that I have taken.

4. What advice would you offer to someone considering applying for admission to the program?

I’ve already given advice to a co-worker that the setting at CUNY SPS is like a family, and any help she might need someone is always available to assist her. Also, I told a co-worker that the courses given are excellent for my professional development as your personal life. She is now enrolled for her second semester and loves it. She thanks me all the time for recommending CUNY SPS.

Brenda also shared some fun facts about her life.

1. Place of residence: Far Rockaway Beach. I worked in the city for 29 years so the travel is not a problem. I love the city.

2. Favorite CUNY SPS course: I can’t say I have a favorite course because they all have something different to bring to the table. However, I can say I lean toward courses that help me understand teaching  children because I work with the DOE

3. Weirdest place you have studied: On the train. Other than that I’m usually studying at home or at work during my lunch break. I can’t study with music on it’s a distraction to me.

5. Best thing about your community or NYC: The diversity of people and all that it has to offerBroadway theaters, Times Square, restaurants, land marks such as the statue of liberty and empire state building and living across the street from the beach.

Thanks, Brenda!

We wish you continued success with your studies this semester.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015!

I didn’t hear so much about New Year’s resolutions (nyr) this year as I did in previous years, but I must say, forward on!

Just want to remind folks that it’s okay to put last year’s nyr on rinse, repeat…after all, who says it should or will take just a year to accomplish your goals?

2014 was a year of sowing seeds, many of which are starting to reap…

As you sow your seeds this year, be sure to take advantage of some pretty great technology that can help you in your efforts to manage your life and get things done.

Tip: Use a project management tool like Trello to turn each of your nyr into a project or “board” and break them up into little tasks or “cards” you need to accomplish. It’ll be really hard not to accomplish your nyr when armed with a plan and a strategy for tracking progress!

Christina is passionate about teaching and helping others, social justice, and business ownership. She has a BA in English from George Washington University and a MA in Education from Howard University. She is currently completing a MS in Business Management and Leadership at CUNY SPS. After 10 years of teaching in public and private schools, she’s chosen to focus on helping women and minority owned small businesses succeed and give back so that her families, friends, and communities can thrive. Find Christina on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Hi, it’s Christina again!  Just to remind you, I’m a grad student in the CUNY School of Professional Studies Online Business Management Program and I’m grateful that with this education I will have the background, knowledge, and skills I need to pursue my life’s passions.

What’s yours?

Very interesting…go for it!

Now in my last article “No New Business:  Doing You” I wrote about focusing on yourself first.  My hope is that you received that message in the spirit that it was given.

Giving back (#givingtuesday) is one of the most meaningful things you can do with your life. There’s nothing like it.  And time and time again, it has been proven that regardless of one’s level of success, wealth, or fame, most people just don’t feel complete and satisfied until they participate in giving back.

But again…how do you get there?  To the place where you are giving AND you feel full?  To the place where you are so filled with love, joy, and happiness, that you can’t do anything but share?

Well, I’m no Buddha, but I want to remind you all to PERSIST, PUSH, and PERSEVERE.

A lot of us are working really hard for jobs, pushing important family, health, finances, and dreams to the side.  I’m here to say “push back!”  I learned the hard way, in my career, that unless you are running your own company, you are quite DISpensable.  Which I say to remind you to put your career in perspective when you compare it against all the other reasons why you were put here on this earth.  Respect and honor the job that allows you to provide—but make sure you are providing for something other than just getting to work the next day.  Get it?

I charge you to take the same tenacity or fever you put towards school and work and turn it upon yourself, your families, your health, your finances, and your dreams.  Live outside the 9 to 5.  Live a fulfilled life, not a settled for one.

In fact, there are some great productivity tools that can really help you piece together the many elements of your life.  Try a tool like Trello for organizing your life and getting things done.  And don’t forget, keeping a calendar can make a huge difference, too!!

Christina is passionate about teaching and helping others, social justice, and business ownership. She has a BA in English from George Washington University and a MA in Education from Howard University. She is currently completing a MS in Business Management and Leadership at CUNY SPS. After 10 years of teaching in public and private schools, she’s chosen to focus on helping women and minority owned small businesses succeed and give back so that her families, friends, and communities can thrive. 

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