My Journey to a Master in Healthcare Administration
Evette Eubanks, BSN, RN shares her personal experience in nursing and her quest for success with an M.H.A.
I waited six years after receiving my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to go back to school to get my master’s degree. Partly because I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to get it in, partly because I needed to assess my student loan debt situation after obtaining my Associate in Arts followed by my BSN. But mostly because my poor brain just really and truly needed a break.
Don’t go into the light
I may be dating myself, but growing up, Poltergeist was one of my favorite movies. For me, the absolute most memorable line from that movie is, “Don’t go into the light, Carol Anne.” My name is Evette, so why would that single line still resonate 35 years later? I graduated with my BSN in 2010, and for some reason, every time I pondered continuing my education after that, I’d hear “Don’t go into the light, Evette.”
Nursing is a second career for me. I somehow managed to go through a mid-life crisis at 30 years old, went to community college to complete my prerequisites, then transferred to a four-year university. Lucky for me, older truly did translate into wiser and my grades earned me some pretty lofty scholarships. On the other hand, older also meant I was one of the oldest people in my nursing classes. Which mattered not, because nursing school didn’t discriminate; it was hard on old and young minds alike.
BSN and beyond
Life since earning my BSN has been nothing short of amazing. Not only have I had the opportunity to work at nationally ranked and recognized hospitals in my hometown, but for half of my short career I’ve worked as a travel nurse. When choosing nursing as a career, I knew it would open up an array of opportunities merely because the field of nursing is so extremely vast. At least I thought I knew, because even my wildest dreams didn’t prepare me for everything I’ve experienced.
I worked on an oncology unit as a student nurse assistant/nurse tech while I was in school and was offered a nursing position there after graduation. I loved it and I learned so much about strength, courage and determination as I cared for my phenomenal patients. Then, one day I saw an ad on Facebook about travel nursing. Most companies wouldn’t even consider anyone with less than two years of nursing experience, and I only had one. But I channeled all that determination from my patients and I found a company willing to take a chance on an up-and-coming nurse. I traveled across four different states in three years, and in addition to oncology I added medical/surgical, telemetry, home health and hospice, endoscopy and cardiac step-down to my resume.
Fast forward to Poltergeist 2010 and Carol Anne was instructed to go into the light. I realize had I not gone into the light, I wouldn’t be experiencing all of the amazing opportunities that continue to present themselves to me. I’m currently on contract at a hospital in Hershey, PA, the sweetest place on earth. I’m no longer doing bedside nursing, but I don’t love my job any less. As a matter of fact, I love my job more each day.
The reason for earning an M.H.A. at this stage in my career is so I can be fully equipped with the knowledge and skills required to manage and lead various types of healthcare organizations in a highly complex, competitive and rapidly changing environment. I’ll be qualified to work as a hospital administrator, department manager or even a high-ranking executive within a large healthcare organization. The light at the end of the tunnel is so bright I can feel its welcoming warmth. So here I go, anxiously, excitedly, blindly. I’m crossing over—I’m going into the light.
If you’re interested in an M.H.A., Concordia University, Nebraska offers a great online program with four concentrations available.