Photo Credit: Nikita Lee
NAME: Christi Siedlecki ’15
DEGREE: MSN with a specialization in Leadership and Management
TITLE BEFORE MY DEGREE: Nurse Manager at Grants Pass Clinic in Grants Pass, Oregon
TITLE AFTER MY DEGREE: CEO at Grants Pass Clinic
BEATING THE COMPETITION: During the interview process for CEO, I was up against 120 applicants. So the first way my degree really paid off was by boosting my confidence. The interviewers asked me about my experience with finance, if I knew how to increase my power base, and how to influence government through healthcare legislation—all the things I had been taught in my courses at Walden. After I was offered the position, I was told that my education really made a difference when weighing me against the competition. Choosing a curriculum that emphasized my clinical skills showed them my commitment to the organization, and it increased their confidence in my abilities to lead the organization.
APPLYING MY SKILLS: The Walden curriculum provided essential skills—like finance and human resources—that I need to be in a healthcare leadership position. I’ve taken these skills and built upon the great job our former CEO did by taking a slightly different approach. I’ve been utilizing business practices that are more inclusive of our stakeholders, and because of that, I’ve been told that you can feel the difference when you walk through the door. Walden also encourages you to commit yourself to ongoing, lifelong education.
BIGGEST BENEFIT OF EARNING MY MSN: I am now a Certified Medical Practice Executive, and I’m eligible for a year-end bonus that is dependent upon my success. But by far, the most important change has been in my own personal self-worth. I come from a low-income background—no one in my family has attained such advanced education or risen to CEO level. Walden gave me the chance to become what I knew I was inside, even if I didn’t have the means or the resources. That’s tremendous, and I’ll never get over that personal satisfaction. — K.G.