A graduate shares how earning her degree at Walden has made her a better nurse.

Lisa RiouxJuly 2011

NAME: Lisa Rioux

DEGREE EARNED: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

CURRENT JOB: Clinical nurse and internal consultant at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for Yale University’s School of Medicine, in New Haven, Conn.

HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT WALDEN? I always wanted to go back to school but it was never the right time, what with the house, the kids, and working part time in my career. One day a colleague who was a doctoral student asked if I’d considered looking online. I was not computer literate. But I did some research into a few online universities. At the time, I was taking care of my best friend from childhood, who was dying of cancer. She put a fire under me and told me I had to do this for myself.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT WALDEN WAS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU? I knew from the first phone call to an enrollment advisor. I’m not an online person, and I never read emails. It was a great comfort to realize I would have 24/7 help as a student. There was always someone to communicate with, and someone to offer help when I needed it.

WHY DO YOU REFER OTHERS TO WALDEN? For the richness of the coursework, the simplicity and clarity of the approach, and the support. The pace of instruction is absolutely perfect. They take students’ needs into consideration when they plan out the programs. The thinking is fresh and current, not musty and old. My colleagues can see my proud enthusiasm for Walden and ask me about it. I immediately jump on Walden’s Web site to show them what it’s like, and I always tell them how comfortable I am speaking with people at Walden. So far I’ve successfully referred several co-workers to Walden’s MSN degree program—three are in classes now and two are seriously considering enrolling. Walden is now on the hospital’s list of preferred education providers.

WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THE WALDEN PROGRAM? Getting my degree feels like the beginning of a greater thing for me. It’s really given me a lot of encouragement and confidence. Now I’m considering the doctoral program. There is no question that Walden has made me a better nurse. I am more aware of my leadership abilities, and my colleagues see me as a scholar. Recently I became a professor at Sacred Heart University and am proud to show my students that anyone, at any age, can return to higher education, accomplish their goals, and succeed.

Refer friends, family, and colleagues at www.WaldenU.edu/refer.