Being an RN is a busy job. But Renown’s Margo Baxter is also pursuing further education and needs to include family time in her busy schedule. See how she juggles it all — and still makes time for a daily jog — thanks in part to a new partnership between Renown and WGU Nevada.
Nurses, by trade, are used to balancing many responsibilities. But a new partnership between Renown and WGU Nevada is making the juggling act inherent to their careers slightly less complicated for those looking to advance their education.
WGU Nevada is an online university that offers self-paced programs, meaning students can complete coursework at a more optimal pace and at times that are more convenient for them. The university recently joined forces with Renown Health to offer tuition discounts and scholarship opportunities to the healthcare provider’s employees.
This was great news for Registered Nurse Margo Baxter.
Margo, quality coordinator at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, works full time, goes to school full time for her master’s degree and has a family — including four kids — at home.
“That is a very difficult balance,” she says. “I’m taking a full load of classes and just started my position at Renown. I’m swinging my hours late so I can be here for nightshift, so I work from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. In the morning, I get up, go for a run and come into work, and when I’m done with work, I spend another hour here and do homework; that way, it gets done.”
Nursing is Margo’s second career. She earned her RN degree in 2014 and started her current position in early November. Prior to that, she spent time working in a variety of roles that focused on quality — from being a software engineer to a role with the Navy Reserves.
“Nursing has been great,” she says. “I love the patients, and this has been a wonderful place to work. I meet the neatest people.”
RN Furthers Education with WGU Nevada
In September, Margo began the master’s program at WGU Nevada. While most in Northern Nevada have heard of nursing school options at the University of Nevada and Truckee Meadows Community College, WGU Nevada also offers an accredited nursing program.
Margo had earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from WGU a few years prior and knew it was the right fit for her. In addition to what she describes as a great, challenging program, Margo credits the reasonable cost of tuition, the discount Renown employees receive from the school thanks to this recent partnership and the ability to work at her own pace as reasons she chose WGU.
“I looked at a lot of places, but WGU does offer very high quality programs,” she says. “Their programs are thorough and deep.”
Margo says the program is always looking for fun and creative ways to assign projects and topics. She has “built” molecules and is going to film herself giving a patient assessment to be viewed and critiqued for feedback.
“Activities are often fun and different, which turn out to be very challenging and very dynamic,” she says. “This is a really clinically focused program. It all makes me feel like I’m going to be a much stronger nurse.”