Jason Wilson Prepares to Make an Impact with RN to BSN Degree from WPU

August 2, 2020
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Throughout his career, Jason Wilson has always asked the same question: “Why?” As a critical care transport nurse for WakeMed Health and Hospitals, he finds himself wondering why processes work in certain ways, why some equipment is better than others and why hospitals operate the way they do. William Peace University’s accelerated RN to BSN program has helped him find answers. 

Wilson became interested in nursing at a young age. As a child, his mother went to nursing school. He can remember helping her study for classes like anatomy and physiology and microbiology, and an interest took root. 

After high school, Wilson attended a couple of semesters of college but ultimately chose to enter the workforce, exploring a number of different fields. Nursing came back into focus when Wilson decided to complete his bachelor’s degree. He was intrigued by the diverse career paths that nursing offers, from patient care and health care management to pharmaceutical sales and medical information systems. 

“Nursing and health care, in general, is economy proof. There are a thousand different things you can do, and you can start with an associate’s degree.”

Wilson received his associate’s degree in nursing from Johnston Community College. Since he started working in the field, he’s found that he wants to build a career where, rather than impacting two to four patients every day, he can impact the day-to-day work of hundreds of nurses.

“There are a lot of places where I felt like I could make a difference, but because I didn’t have the education, nobody wanted to listen to me. I realized if I’m going to get away from the bedside and do more, the first step is getting a bachelor’s.” 

When it was time to choose a program, Wilson had several options. One program stood out but refused to accept the credits he had already earned for general education courses. Looking for an easier path to enrollment and a high-quality program, he found William Peace University. He says the excellent assistance from staff in the School of Professional Studies, especially Gina Garera and Cheniqua Lassiter, and the consideration for his needs as a working professional sealed his decision. 

Despite his enthusiasm to join the program, Wilson had some concerns. Did WPU have quality online courses? Would he adjust to being a student again? Could he balance school, work and home life? The answer to all of these questions was yes. 

Wilson has been consistently impressed with the program’s mostly-online format. While an associate’s degree in nursing takes a more hands-on approach, the RN to BSN program allowed him to dive into critical thinking about nursing theory, leadership and research. He credits Assistant Professor Kobie Leiper and Instructor Dale O’Neal for recognizing his potential, pushing him to succeed and inspiring his best work. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic closed WPU’s campus, Wilson says the program’s hybrid delivery was ideal. However, virtual class meetings maintained a personal touch. 

“Staring at a screen all day is not where I thrive … But I think if it was all in-person, I wouldn’t have made it. It would have just been too rigid and too regimented. And if it were all online, I think I would have gotten through it, but I’ve enjoyed the hybrid aspect of being able to interact with people. Seeing my professors makes it more personal.”

When Wilson joined the program in 2019, he hadn’t written a paper since 1997. He says that the RN to BSN program taught him how to thrive as a student again, and he’s received consistently high grades. In NSG 401: Research and Evidence-Based Practice, he began to find answers to the questions he’s always had. 

“The nursing research class taught me a lot about why nursing is always evolving. We’re always changing the way we do things. There’s always some new piece of equipment, some new process. It has taught me to be more analytical as to why we implement change in health care and why it’s important to not just do what we’ve always done.” 

Approaching graduation in Aug. 2020, Wilson has shifted focus from understanding change to making change and improving the field of nursing. He hopes to go on to receive a postgraduate degree and develop a software program for medical transport. 

His final weeks in the program will include caring for the Wake County community as it grapples with COVID-19. As he continues to ask questions and dig deeper into the field of nursing, he will be equipped to take action and make a difference in the lives of nurses and their patients. 

In Fall 2020, WPU will launch reduced tuition rates for our RN to BSN students, and we are continuing many of the same great features that set us apart: high-touch approach, one-to-one advising and coaching, face-to-face learning, and the flexibility of online and hybrid delivery methods. Learn more about the accelerated program and how to get started