Amelia Nichols Alava, B.S.N., R.N., plays several roles throughout her typical day — wife, mom, UF Health Shands Hospital Burn ICU nurse and, most recently, student. Juggling her responsibilities is challenging, but in August she graduated from the UF College of Nursing R.N. to B.S.N. program with a 3.9 GPA.
“At first I was scared, but time management was key,” she said. “I made sure that I fit school into my schedule just like I would anything else. After work, I went home, fed and spent time with my family and studied at night.”
The two-year program begins each January and is designed for registered nurses who have previously earned an associate’s degree in nursing. Tuition reimbursement is available for benefits-eligible UF Health Shands staff through UF Health Shands Human Resources and all courses are taken online, allowing professional nurses to more easily access the program while balancing work and personal responsibilities. (Learn more about the UF Health Shands Tuition Reimbursement program on page 22 of this edition.)
Since its launch last spring, more than 20 students have successfully completed the program. Currently, 52 students are enrolled and that number will nearly double this spring, when 90 students are expected to start the program.
“We’re excited to be partnering with UF Health Shands on such a great endeavor,” said Anna M. McDaniel, R.N., Ph.D., UF College of Nursing dean. “This program is a testament to our dedication to advance nursing in every way possible.”
Nichols Alava’s children witnessed the amount of time and effort she put into earning her degree and she hopes the experience will instill the value of never giving up. She plans to further her nursing career by obtaining her Master of Science in Nursing.
She added, “It’s certainly doable! You just have to put your mind to it.”
Interested in applying or for more information to pass along to a colleague?
Visit admissions.nursing.ufl.edu/degrees/undergraduate/rn-to-bsn or contact Kenneth Foote, UF College of Nursing academic advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.