Name: Derek Kouwenhoven '08
Degree: M.S. in Nursing
Job title before M.S. in Nursing degree: Nurse educator for the Emergency department at the Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC)
Job title after M.S. in Nursing degree: Director of critical care services—the ER and the ICU—at the CVMC
How my degree helps me make a bigger difference: My courses prepared me to create change as a manager by giving me the insight to know that there needed to be more players at the table. Involving physicians and people from other departments—Lab, Radiology, Registration—made a huge difference in patient satisfaction.
Biggest benefit of earning a degree at Walden: The master's level coursework and the degree of autonomy required in online learning gave me the self-confidence to do the job I'm doing now. It's more than just the initials after my name, it's the feeling that I have something to contribute.
Tell us how your degreed paid off.