When Briana Svensson MSN '16 was young, she knew several amazing nurses who, in her eyes, were "doing it right," by being both kind-hearted caregivers and smart, hands-on lifesavers. As she grew older, she was drawn to the scientific and social skill sets required for the profession. She earned her BSN from Boston College in 2010 and moved back to her hometown in Arizona, where she worked as a staff nurse in a medical/surgical ICU and became certified as a CCRN.
But Briana's greater ambitions were to teach in a classroom, and after moving back to Boston in 2012 to work in the trauma/transplant surgical ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital, she began researching options for her MSN with a concentration in nursing education. She knew she wanted an environment where she could benefit from the personal interaction that only face-to-face learning provides. When she read about Emmanuel's recently established MSN program, she was excited, as she already knew something of the close community on Emmanuel's campus. Her mother received her undergraduate degree from Emmanuel (class of 1980) and always spoke highly of her time at the College.
"I attended an information session and liked the academically rigorous approach within the faith-based institution," Briana said. "I also appreciated how passionate and excited everyone sounded when they spoke about the program. I felt I could find a home there."
As someone who has always loved being a student—and writing papers—Briana said it was a pleasure to find time to study. She stayed organized and ahead of the work, often setting her own deadlines with a built-in "buffer."
"It was helpful to remember why I was working so hard," Briana said. "Repeating my goals like a mantra may have made me look crazy at 2 a.m., huddled over my laptop with papers and books covering every surface in the room, but it worked!"
Briana completed her practicum with an established nursing professor at a distinguished college in Massachusetts. She found the experience incredibly valuable, as she concurrently, based on pursuing her degree, was starting a role as a part-time clinical instructor for Med-Surg II students at Northeastern University.
"I have pages and pages of teaching tips...and having the opportunity to take on an active role in the classroom was amazing practice for the future," she said.
She credits the influence of the faculty ("a family of nursing scholars with incredible experience, publications and stories") and her fellow students for her extraordinary growth during her time in the MSN program.
"Countless differing viewpoints, fresh perspective and the wisdom gained from decades of collective professional experience made for endless amazing debates and discussions, especially with a lot of humor thrown in the mix! I came away changed for the better as a student, as a nurse and as a person," she said.
Post-graduation, Briana is continuing her work as a part-time RN at MGH and a part-time clinical instructor at Northeastern. While considering her next move, she is studying for the CNE exam and isn't ruling out Ph.D. programs as she prepares for a meaningful academic or research role in the field of nursing education.
"To this day, I continue to be delightfully surprised by the multi-faceted and complex career of nursing," she said.