Native Ohioan Chloe Linton has found North Carolina a better place to be. Born and raised in the Buckeye state, Linton frequently vacationed on the Outer Banks off the Carolina coast. She fell in love with the area, and when she was ready for a change, looked east.
"I wanted a new, fresh start," she said. "I was working in Columbus, Ohio, and it's very busy and it's a large city. The commutes were supposed to be short, but they weren't. The weather was bad. Since I had just become an RN, I wanted to branch out and start somewhere new. I wanted to move to North Carolina. I decided to move to Greenville, which has a Level I trauma center, and start my career in acute care."
Linton now works as a staff nurse III in radiology for Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina — a position she gained after completing her RN to BSN degree program online at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
After starting out as a nursing assistant, Linton completed the schooling necessary to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2004. She continued to advance her nursing career by earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) in 2006. She took some time off to be a mom before returning to the workforce and higher education.
"Earning a bachelor's degree online was an opportunity for me to go back at my own pace," Linton said. "There's a big push for the BSN in the larger institutions. You know, the whole 80% BSN by 2020 thing. I wanted to be a part of that."
Linton started doing her research to find an RN to BSN program online that met her requirements.
"I was looking into some local online programs and came across the UNCW one," she said. "It was financially doable and it was easy for me to talk to people because it was kind of local. So, I decided to go ahead and take the leap."
After moving to North Carolina in 2007, Linton was home. Living in the outdoor-friendly state means that she and her husband, Jamie, and their three children — Emma (18), Maddison (14) and Eli (8) — can spend their free time camping, going to the beach, swimming and four-wheeling, all outdoor activities they love.
Though there wasn't much free time during the online RN to BSN days for Linton, the program was achievable, even with a full plate at work and home.
"Jamie and I were both in school at the same time. I was online and he was in class, earning an associate degree in welding. It was still doable, even with a family of two people in college at the same time. So, that's the big thing. It looks overwhelming on paper until you start it. And then you're like, 'Yeah. I can do this.'"
Linton felt the importance of setting a strong example for her children, and she has made quite an impression on Emma, who plans to become a nurse as well.
"She's going to pretty much follow in my footsteps and do the same route I did, as far as doing her ADN first and then go on to get her BSN for financial reasons," Linton said. "It's cheaper to do it that way than it is to go straight to a four-year university."
Emma graduated from high school in May 2019 with 24 college credits, thanks to a dual enrollment program.
"She has seen how much I enjoy my job and how much I care about what I do," Linton said. "I think that watching me go through school and become successful has made her think, 'My mom is doing very well in life. So, I might as well do what she does and follow in her footsteps.'"
Linton gained much from the UNCW online RN to BSN program, including her current title and salary.
"The BSN allowed me to climb the clinical ladder," she said. "We have a clinical ladder program at the hospital, and in order to climb to a staff nurse III, which I am currently, you have to have your BSN. So, that allowed me to climb the clinical ladder and do more things within the organization, including getting a raise."
The staff nurse III promotion involves a rigorous application process that happens just once a year.
"It's a program where you have to prove yourself," Linton said. "I had to submit my BSN and the rest of the stuff that I was working on to get the promotion. Because I graduated in May of 2016 with my BSN, I was able to submit my application and then move up to the promotion in the fall."
In addition to earning a promotion and setting a good example for her kids, Linton also gained some new perspective from the online RN to BSN program.
"Public health was probably my favorite course," she said. "I enjoyed learning about the community health and public health aspect of nursing, which I had never really thought of before. In the associate degree nursing program, they don't touch on the community and public health like they do in the BSN course."
In that course, NSG 408, Linton worked on a project with nurses across the state.
"We worked as a group and did demographics and what kind of population uses a health clinic," she said. "It was for a local health community center in New Bern, North Carolina. It was a different aspect of nursing for me. It showed me that there are other avenues out there besides just bedside."
Linton is now not only a proud North Carolina resident, she's also an enthusiastic UNCW BSN graduate.
"I want to let everyone know that it was a very easy program to do. And it's very friendly," she said. "It's very doable for family work-life balance."
Learn more about the UNCW online RN to BSN program.
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