Since Bobbi Handy was a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a nurse. When she headed to college in the late 1980s, however, the Charleston, South Carolina, native talked herself out of her dream. She left the university where she’d started and enrolled in an associate degree in business administration program at the technical college in her hometown, Trident Technical College, and graduated in 1989.
A Decade in Aviation Management
For the next 10 years, Bobbi managed a private airport in Charleston, introducing her to actors and movie crews flying into film movies, presidents, and other famous people visiting the area. Despite that perk, Bobbi eventually felt the pull to nursing once again. Nudged by her husband, she followed her heart—and returned to Trident Technical College while pregnant with her third child. She graduated with an associate degree in nursing in 2002.
Beginning Her Dream Job
Bobbi had joined Trident Medical Center in Charleston while in nursing school as a sterile processing technician and became a nurse on the telemetry unit once she graduated. In 2007, she moved to the Medical University of South Carolina as a PRN nurse in the telemetry/cardiac care unit. While her children were young, Bobbi was a nurse in their school district.
A career opportunity for her husband led the family to Florida in 2009, where Bobbi worked as a director of the intensive care and progressive care units at a regional medical center. That experience helped Bobbi build her skills but also convinced her to go back to school for a bachelor’s degree. “I knew I needed more education to be an effective leader,” she says. She enrolled in an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, finishing in 2012 and returning to Charleston the same year.
Planning for the Future
Back in Charleston, Bobbi rejoined Trident Medical as a patient care coordinator and nurse on the telemetry/progressive care unit but was soon offered a role as the district nurse coordinator for the school district where she’d worked previously. “My schedule allowed me to continue my education, so I completed the Master of Science in Nursing online at the same university where I’d completed the BSN,” she says. “I knew I would only be able to work at the bedside for so long. It seemed like the time to start making some changes.” After years of working in the school environment, the idea of teaching entered Bobbi’s mind.
Bobbi’s friend and former colleague, who was the department chair at Trident Technical College—where the nursing journey began for Bobbi—encouraged her to apply for an open adjunct position. “I just loved teaching right away,” she says. She added the nursing education emphasis to her MSN and finished the program in 2014. When a full-time position at the college opened, she jumped at the opportunity—and was hired.
Inspired to Continue in School
Motivated to be the best teacher possible, Bobbi started a doctorate program in 2021. However, she found that the clinically focused Doctor of Nursing Practice didn’t fit her goals or passion for
nursing education. She withdrew, and she and her husband decided it was time for an adventure. After seven years, she left Trident Technical College, signed on with a travel nursing agency, and hit the road in their RV.
On an assignment in North Carolina, Bobbi met a nurse who had recently graduated from the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Educational Leadership Specialization program at Post University. “I called to get more information, and the program was exactly what I was seeking,” Bobbi says. She enrolled in June 2022. “The content is excellent, but the ability to pursue a doctorate while traveling is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Back to Teaching
By the end of 2022, Bobbi missed teaching. She learned through a former coworker that Galen College of Nursing was opening an Asheville, North Carolina campus. “It felt like another ‘meant to be moment,’ and I applied and was hired as a full-time instructor,” she says. She joined Galen in January 2023. Meanwhile, the DNP Educational Leadership Specialization provides instruction about leadership styles and educational theories. “I am becoming a better communicator, teacher, and leader.”
Bobbi is aiming to finish the program by the summer of 2025. She aims to earn the credentials to stay marketable and build the knowledge to do her job well. “There are many leadership opportunities within Galen College, so I want to be ahead of the game to take advantage of those that come my way,” she says. The encouraging environment in her Post University DNP Educational Leadership Specialization cohort is an added bonus. “I’ve never had such a supportive and engaged group as I do right now. I am very pleased so far with this program and excited where it will take me.”