Master of Science in Nursing Department Chair Mary Englert is Building Future Leaders in Healthcare
In December 2018, Rasmussen College celebrated its first Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students becoming graduates. This was a big moment for the students, the College and the MSN faculty.
The program’s department chair, Mary Englert, is one of those proud faculty members. Englert anticipates many more MSN graduates, as the College is working towards growing and expanding the program. Currently, the MSN program offers two specializations, Nursing Education and Nursing Leadership and Administration. Englert explains that both of these specializations are in-demand and can set graduates apart upon graduation.
“We design our course projects to be simulations of things that students will face out in the real world,” Englert states. “Our curriculum design process is very unique and really sets students up for success after they graduate.”
Real-world concepts are infused into every course, which comes naturally to the faculty members, as the majority of the program’s instructors work full-time clinically in addition to teaching.
Prior to teaching, Englert was a registered nurse working in acute rehabilitation. Then, after becoming a nurse practitioner, she worked in surgery, wound care and primary care. Her first exposure to teaching was when she was asked to precept for a nurse practitioner student at her alma mater, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a preceptor, she acted as a professional mentor to a student and provided individual attention to the student through their program. She loved being a part of the individual’s educational journey and began seeking opportunities to teach as an adjunct instructor. Finally, Englert made the switch to teaching full-time in 2013.
Englert says her favorite part of teaching is “reaching students through online programs that otherwise may not have gone back to school because they are working full-time. I love being part of their journey as online students.”
In addition to teaching courses, Englert is the department chair of the program and was involved in the accreditation process with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) as well as continuing to ensure the courses are well designed for students.1
“I enjoy offering support to faculty,” she says. “I also like ensuring the quality of the courses. I like being able to oversee that quality and making sure we are giving the students the best experience possible.”
Englert's interest in the healthcare field outside of the classroom has not waned since she started teaching. In February 2019, Englert, with two of her colleagues in the nursing field, began a research project. They each had an interest in overall nutrition and wellness for patients. This interest led them down the path of researching how wellness and nutritional information is disseminated to individuals via social media and where nurses can insert themselves in this conversation.
At first, the research was intended to be used for an article. However, one of Englert's partners knew of a conference they could present their research at. In October 2019, the women presented their research at the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Their presentation was called “Nurses’ Use of Social Media for Nutrition Health Promotion.” Englert explains that their work is not done and that they continue to meet regularly to further their research and piloting social media interventions around health promotion and nutrition.
Englert foresees a future where nurses are running social media pages that allow for live videos where nurses can interact directly and provide reliable information to their patients.
Englert explains that even though her specific research isn’t found in any of the courses being taught at Rasmussen, the program does cover the crossover between the healthcare system and social media. Whether that be students making their own professional LinkedIn pages in an early onset course, or students learning about the impact of Twitter on health policy, the College’s program understands that social media plays a growing role in the nursing profession.
The Rasmussen College MSN program will continue to expand and serve a larger audience of nurses looking to further their education. “We are just excited to grow this program,” Englert states. “It’s a really exciting time in the MSN program.”
1The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degree programs at Rasmussen College are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
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