ABSN Graduate Spotlight: Erin Campbell

After 12 Years Working in Education, Hybrid Program Graduate Shares What Inspired Career Change to Nursing
Erin Campbell

By: Erik Pedersen, Senior Communications Manager

BALTIMORE – Erin Campbell had considered becoming a nurse for several years, giving serious thought to the idea as an undergraduate at Towson University before ultimately deciding to major in psychology. After graduation, she spent the following 12 years as a teacher and administrator at a local Montessori school.

A career in nursing, however, remained in the back of her mind throughout that time period, and as the COVID-19 pandemic continued she made the decision to change professions. Just 15 months after enrolling in Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, Campbell will be recognized with the rest of her graduating class at Thursday’s pinning ceremony in Marikle Chapel on NDMU’s main campus.

Campbell made the most of her NDMU experience, serving as a peer tutor, a mentor and an aide in the clinical simulation lab for the School of Nursing during her short amount of time as a student. Learn more Campbell’s nursing journey below, as she discusses what led her to Notre Dame, her experience with the ABSN program and her career plans after graduation:

How did you first hear about NDMU, and what inspired you to enroll in the ABSN program?

I did a lot of research once I decided to change careers, because there are so many different options and ways to go back to school. What drew me to Notre Dame was the fact that it was a 15-month program. As a working mom, it made my life a little bit easier to know that I could do it in one quick shot.

I also really liked that it was hybrid, because I knew that trying to be on campus every day was not going to be conducive to my schedule. They organized your clinicals for you as well – for a lot of fully online programs, you have to schedule your own clinical experiences.

What is it about nursing that most inspired you to join the profession?

I love that nursing is an expansive discipline. You’ll never get bored, because there are so many different options. If you do something for a couple years and decide that you want to try something else, there is always a different area to go into. I really enjoy taking care of people as well. I’m kind of going from one caring profession to another, from teacher to nurse, so it’s a nice transition in that sense.

I like the idea of being able to work in a field where I can really explore areas that I find interesting. There isn’t one specific reason, a whole lot of different things helped lead me to nursing.

Have you enjoyed your experience at Notre Dame? Do you feel like you have been set up for success after graduation?

I do. I think it’s a very intensive program. Going into an accelerated program is not easy, but I think that the coursework and exams really help prepare you for the NCLEX [the exam required for nursing licensure]. I was able to have a variety of clinical experiences, and my practicum experience at the end was great as well. I was on a unit where there were so many unique things, and I was also able to practice the basic skills that we’re going to need out in the real world. While it is a very difficult program, I think that it has definitely helped prepare me for my job once I graduate.

Are there any faculty members that have particularly inspired you during your time here?

There were quite a few who have been really great. All three of the clinical simulation lab instructors at the Elkridge Learning Site – Kasey, Asabi and Shana – are fantastic. They go above and beyond. They not only work with you during simulations and skills labs, but they’re also there if you have any general clinical questions. All three of them were so helpful, they helped bridge the gap between what you read in the textbook and what you experience in the hospital.

Were you involved with any extracurriculars during your time at NDMU?

I did peer tutoring for the past two semesters, which I really enjoyed. We tutored students who started later in the program, so once we completed the coursework we were able to help those who followed us. I was also a mentor. We have a mentorship program at Elkridge where we’re paired up with a first-semester student, which was great because I was able to impart all of the life lessons that I’d learned from my experience – what worked for me and what didn’t – and hopefully they can apply that to their own experience.

I also was a clinical simulation lab aide. We have open lab hours where students can come in to practice the different skill sets that they’re going to be tested on. If there were skills, such as taking blood pressures, they weren’t comfortable with, I was able to share some things that had worked for me along the way.

Do you have a job lined up after graduation? What are you hoping to specialize in?

I do have a job lined up. I’m going to be working in a telemetry unit for patients who are on cardiac monitoring. They can be admitted for a variety of health issues, but they all require cardiac monitoring based on either their current illness or previous history.

Is there any message you would like to relay to people who might be considering a career change?

Go for it. Life is too short. From my personal experience, I haven’t regretted my decision for one second. The program is challenging, but at the end you recognize that it really has prepared you to go out into the nursing discipline. Power through the difficult times – it will all be worth it in the end.

Established in 1895, Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) is a private, Catholic institution in Baltimore, Maryland, with the mission to educate leaders to transform the world. Notre Dame has been named one of the best "Regional Universities North" by U.S. News & World Report.

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