Photo of a male Master of Science in Nursing / Master of Business Administration nursing student

Jeremy Kele, B.S. ’15
MSN-MBA student
Class of 2019

Student Story

Jeremy Kele ’19 has steadily developed his expertise as a nurse at Elms, initially earning his bachelor of science in nursing from 2012-2015, and subsequently entering the MSN-MBA program in 2017. The South Hadley, MA, resident now has his sights set on completing his graduate degree in spring 2019.

After working at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MA, for the past several years, Jeremy says that he has developed a detailed understanding of how nurses operate in large metropolitan hospitals. Serving in the chronic care unit, critical care inpatient unit, and emergency department helped broaden his perspective on nursing.

“My focus right now is just having all of the staff nursing experience, understanding how it works throughout the hospital,” he said.

Equipped with this knowledge, Jeremy sees the business administration component of his degree as a springboard to future career opportunities.

“I like the idea, and was really unaware of it in a big way until I got into the MBA classes, of their focus on process improvement,” he explained. “It’s the same with nursing. Nursing is always looking at evidence-based practice, asking how they can better the practice of nursing in order to be the best help to the most people.”

Taking inspiration from Trinity Health’s transition to Epic–a state of the art electronic medical records technology–Jeremy says he could see himself making a positive intervention in EHR process improvement.

“It’s really appealing to me to go and work at someplace like Epic, where I could go in and train the trainers in how to better serve, or get their processes to improve, and do that kind of leading.”

Photo of a female Master of Science in Nursing graduate

Shirley Hamill ’12
MSN in Nursing Education
Class of 2012

Student Story

Shirley Hamill ’12 has dedicated her career to educating new parents about breastfeeding and lactation. Currently the nurse manager of labor and delivery, lactation services, and parent education at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, she felt drawn to the MSN program at Elms for its flexibility.

“The master’s program at Elms was easy to fit into my already busy schedule,” she explained. “I was working full time, and decided to go back for my master’s. It was easy because it was only one night of coursework, and the rest of it was projects that I could do on my own time.”

Before becoming a nurse manager at Baystate, Shirley worked for 15 years as a lactation consultant, educating new parents on how to care for their newborns.

“What I find fulfilling about working in women’s health is being able to help the entire family grow when they bring a baby into the world,” she said.

Shirley specialized in nursing education because it was a natural fit with her background in lactation consulting. By focusing her research on breastfeeding, she strengthened her expertise while also discovering new opportunities for educational training programs.

“What I thought was most helpful in the master’s program at Elms was that they encouraged us right from the beginning to do something we’re passionate about,” she said. “For me, my passion was breastfeeding, so I started off the program writing a small paper about breastfeeding, and I worked right up to doing a fully-fledged research project about breastfeeding education for pediatric interns.”

Shirley’s lifelong dedication to women’s health exemplifies a commitment to creatively addressing the needs of the local community.

MSN Nursing and Health Services Management student

Leah Spring, B.S. ’13
MSN in Nursing and Health Services Management
Class of 2018

Student Story

For Leah Spring ’18, the Nursing and Health Services Management track of the MSN program was the natural choice for advancing her career. The South Hadley, MA, local originally earned her B.S. at Elms in 2013, and decided to return as a graduate student because she knew the small campus atmosphere would provide a reliable support system.

“I’m still friends with a lot of the people that I graduated with as an undergrad,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to share our nursing stories together.”

This sense of camaraderie within her cohort extended to the MSN program as well, where she and her colleagues felt comfortable offering constructive criticisms to one another about their capstone projects. Leah’s capstone, which aimed to reduce alarm usage in long term care facilities, immediately found traction in a real world healthcare setting. As the director of nursing at Willimansett Center East, a long term care facility in Chicopee, MA, Leah implemented her initiative with great success, reducing the number of alarm trips from 16 to three over the course of a year.

Before she became the director of nursing at Willimansett, Leah worked as a charge nurse and then a staff development & risk management specialist. She credits her continuing education as the catalyst that led her to a managerial role.

“When the director of nursing position became available, they offered it to me because they knew that I was in the MSN program,” she said.

Choosing the nursing and health services management track was a pivotal point in Leah’s career path, as the curriculum enabled her to develop the skills and knowledge needed to manage all the complexities of healthcare.

“You get a skill set that is unique to being able to take on management positions,” she said. “If you are interested in moving up in the profession of nursing, it’s something that you’ll be able to use no matter what field you work in, whether it’s acute care, long term care, home care, or any other field.”

Photo of a female master of science in nursing and master of business administration graduate

Maggie Eboso ’18
Class of 2018

Student Story

Maggie Eboso ’18 is a mainstay at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MA. For the past 15 years, she has ensured that operations run smoothly at the hospital, working in different managerial roles as an administrative nursing supervisor, clinical nursing supervisor, and now as an infection control coordinator. Her experience in the MSN/MBA program was transformative, as it helped her curate an interdisciplinary skill set that can be applied to a variety of healthcare contexts.

“The MSN/MBA opens your eyes,” she said. “You’re covering HR, you’re covering budgets, you’re covering all the things that you really need in your job.

“You also come to understand the ins and outs of finance, every aspect of it,” she added. “As a nurse today, you can’t ignore the financial aspect. Everything ties into finances. If a patient ends up with an infection, you as a nurse need to know that, because it adds to the bottom line.”

Reinforcing her nursing credentials with business management expertise was the ultimate return on investment for Maggie. In the span of three years, she earned two specialized graduate degrees that qualify her for a range of opportunities in healthcare administration and management. Having emigrated to the United States from Nairobi, Kenya, in 2001, Maggie said that she envisions herself working for the World Health Organization (WHO) one day, where she could draw on her nursing and business acumen together.

“The thing about the MSN/MBA is that I’m not limited,” she explained. “If the WHO is looking for a nurse, I have that experience. If they aren’t looking for a nurse, but if they want an administrator or director–someone to run one of their programs in a given country–I have that training as well. If they want someone with some type of healthcare background, I have that, too.

“The MSN/MBA program is invaluable,” she said. “Now that I’ve done it, I wish that I would have done it years ago.”