Cynthia Dove is a December 2019 graduate of the Accelerated Second Degree (ASD) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Shenandoah University. Like a majority of the students in the ASD BSN program, Dove had a degree and job in another field prior to becoming a nursing student. Dove’s story is a little more unusual, however, because she had earned her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Education degrees many years earlier and held jobs in the financial services industry for over 20 years – working her way up to chief operations officer and vice president. While she had a wonderful career helping clients with their financial health, Dove said she has always felt a calling to be a nurse and help people with their physical health. So when an opportunity presented itself for her to pursue her dream, she said she “decided it was time to do what was in my heart. It was time for me to give and serve others. One gets to a point in life where you want to feel like what you do matters — at least to you.”
When asked to describe her 15-month ASD BSN experience, Dove said:
Be prepared for an intensive, hard, and wonderful experience! I believe it has prepared me well for my nursing career. My cohort has been such an important part of the process. We help each other and learn together. My cohort is made up of such wonderful, caring individuals. I can’t imagine going through the accelerated program with any other group!”
Dove said she particularly enjoyed my clinical experiences.
The nurses and clients have been so open to teaching and allowing me to learn. My experience with my community clinical registered nurse (RN) made such a lasting impact on me and my future nursing career.”
One unforgettable community clinical experience occurred at Capital Caring Hospice in Loudoun County, Virginia, where she shadowed a home-hospice RN case manager who provided services in the home setting for clients of all ages, as well as one day in a memory care center. The RN case manager provided “outstanding care and interactions with the clients and their families,” Dove said. “I was able to observe how she met them where they were and worked hard to get them to a place of peace.” As a result of her experiences, Dove accepted a position in adult oncology, and one day she hopes to be an RN case manager with a hospice organization.