Anna Montague was working as a clinical nurse educator in Merriam, Kansas, when she began to think about continuing her education.
Since 2011, she had worked as a nurse, and in 2018 she transitioned to an educational role and began to consider if it was time to earn her Master’s. As she explored MSN programs, she wanted something with the flexibility that her schedule required.
She also wanted her next degree to be grounded in her faith. She earned her undergraduate degree from a secular university, and she wanted to attend a program that would provide a Christian emphasis to go along with the knowledge she needed for her day-to-day work.
Montague was introduced to OKWU via some career fairs, and her hospital had a partnership with OKWU’s nursing program that made it affordable. When she realized that at OKWU she could also get the faith component, it was an easy choice.
“As I transitioned into my new role, I thought, I really need a bit more knowledge base. Just because you’re a great floor nurse or unit nurse doesn’t mean you will be a great educator. You need additional tools to assess the needs of your population, provide education, and evaluate learning,” she said.
The OKWU program was a great fit, as her classes were entirely online, allowing her to continue working full-time.
Of course, the medical profession changed dramatically. “2020 came along and COVID hit, and I was trying to figure out how I could keep supporting my units while balancing a school workload and personal life,” she said. “And I just felt like I needed to take a pause.”
In the fall of 2020, Montague put a pause on her MSN degree. In 2021, she got married, and in 2022 she decided she was ready to finish the degree. She started classes again in the fall of 2022 and finished her degree this spring, graduating in May.
“I think OKWU’s nursing professors approach nursing from a different perspective and a different theory of nursing,” she said. “It’s more of a mission. This is your calling; this is your purpose.”
Montague said her degree not only equipped her with the knowledge she wanted, but it also gave her newfound confidence.
“Now with the background I have and, of course, the experience, I feel like I have more confidence to speak up and present the reasons why we should do something,” she said.
Graduation in May was the first time that Montague actually stepped foot on campus. She made a point of celebrating the accomplishment with her family to mark the milestone along her educational and career pathway.
As Montague continues to serve her community as a nurse, she acts as an example of what OKWU’s School of Nursing is all about – following the example of Christ and His ministry to heal individuals, communities, and nations.
For more information on the Master’s in Nursing program, click here.