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Candace Broderick has always had “an inherent desire to care for those in need,” which is what led her to consider healthcare as a young adult starting her career. She started out working in a nursing home before moving into a home health agency. Candace also gained experience as a medical assistant and social worker.

A Start Working in Oncology Clinical Trials

Although Candace has worked in healthcare for over 30 years, she didn’t initially start out in nursing. In fact, she spent 12 years as a clinical trial data manager for an oncology practice. In addition to data management, she did phlebotomy, injections, specimen collection and other medical procedures.

A Registered Nurse After Many Years

After spending time as a paraprofessional, marketing and sales specialist for a long-term care facility and social worker for a senior living facility, Candace did something she’d been wanting to do for a long time. She earned the Associate Degree of Nursing in 2019. She joined the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in Vero Beach, Florida, as a psychiatric interim assistant nurse manager in the behavioral health center the same year.

“As I matured, I developed a soft spot for those patients afflicted with mental health disorders and addiction,” she says. “I wanted to become a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner so I could work with the homeless, hopeless and helpless. That was my goal.”

American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences

And so began Candace’s search for the right RN to BSN program so she could work toward an MSN thereafter. She learned about American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ BSN Powered by SIMPath® program and liked the flexibility.

“The decision to earn a BSN was an easy one,” she says. “I value the higher levels of education within healthcare, which means more well-rounded nurses that provide quality patient care. Additionally, I respect medical settings that make the BSN mandatory for new nursing hires and strive to obtain Magnet status.” After completing the BSN Powered by SIMPath® in 18 months, she began the MSN Nurse Practitioner at American Sentinel.

Affected by COVID-19

Earlier in 2021, Candace got COVID-19 and was hit hard. “I had many symptoms that are still lingering and have lost confidence that I could be successful on the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner path,” she says. She decided to change course and recently switched into the MSN Case Management program. “I’m still determined to obtain the MSN.”

Planning Her Next Steps

Now working toward the MSN Case Management, Candace says that her goal is to enter her next career phase away from the bedside. “As a mature nurse and student, I know that the MSN and higher levels of education will allow me to do that as I near retirement,” she says. “American Sentinel has made it very achievable. I have been impressed with the customer service in every area of the university and the attention from my advisor and professors.”

Candace says being a nurse is a fulfilling career that she is glad she chose. “Taking care of a patient in their most vulnerable state is a privilege,” she says. “As a profession, we are respected and valued and I am proud to be a part of a profession that is built on strong ethics and morals. There is opportunity to continually be challenged academically as we further our education and expand our knowledge base. A nurse can have many paths to explore within the profession.”