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When COVID-19 spread across the country and the globe, Kylee Grizzle knew that she needed to help.

A Registered Nurse since 2018, the Florida native had been working as a travel nurse for a little over a year in intensive care units throughout the state. The idea of traveling to a COVID hotspot to offer her support came into her head almost immediately, and she applied to work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “I thought I might be needed for a couple of weeks,” recalls Kylee, who was deployed to Laredo, Texas. However, the situation there was difficult—far worse than she expected. She ended up staying for 18 months, as the hard-hit town on the border of Mexico grappled with high infection rates and full intensive care units in its two hospitals.

A Switch to Teaching

By the fall of 2021, Kylee was exhausted and burned out, and returned to Florida. Having only been a nurse for a few years, she didn’t want to leave the profession but needed a change. “I had reached out to a former professor from my ASN-BSN program,” Kylee says. “I was looking for guidance, and she shared that Seminole State, where she is now the dean, needed a clinical instructor.”

Kylee applied and was hired, and to her surprise, discovered that her time as a travel nurse during the pandemic had equipped her with skills that translated well to the classroom. “I enjoyed training other nurses and found that I really loved teaching too,” she says. To be able to teach in the classroom, she knew she would need a master’s degree. So, when Post University representatives from American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences came to her college to present information to faculty interested in pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing, Kylee attended the informational session.

The Perfect Fit for a Master’s Degree: Quality, Flexible and Self-Paced

The Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Education Specialization at Post checked all the boxes for Kylee, including an especially important one: flexibility. Specifically, she liked the SIMPath® track, which would allow her to complete courses at her own pace.

“I was headed into a break from teaching for the summer, so I appreciated the idea that I could complete as many classes as possible during each 16-week term,” Kylee says. She started the MSN – Nursing Education Specialization in June 2022, dedicating 10 or more hours a day to her school work. Soon, she realized that if she continued that intense pace, she could complete all 11 classes in one term.

Kylee finished the MSN – Nursing Education Specialization in October 2022—just four months after she started. Despite her speed, she was committed to making the very most of the program. “I work with educators who have been teaching for 30 years, so I wanted to be well prepared,” she says. “I immersed myself into my studies and did more than asked. I dug into topics that were important to my institution and got up to speed on the newest standards for nurses so I can relay that to my students.”

Never Been Happier as an Educator

Now in her third year of teaching at Seminole State College, Kylee is moving from the associate degree program to the online BSN program. She loved her experience at Post University so much that she even applied to teach as an adjunct and was hired in early 2023. She teaches in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing programs, both traditional and SIMPath courses.

Kylee plans to pursue the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Educational Leadership Specialization at American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Post University starting in 2024. “I like the setup of the programs, the curriculum, the communication, and the instructors,” she says. As for her nursing career change? “I’ve never been happier. I get to talk about the science of nursing and guide students as they make career decisions. I’m helping make their lives better and still impacting patients’ lives by educating nurses.”