Stories from UAB’s Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway

Bryan Combs

Bryan Combs left a career as an athletic trainer to pursue a nursing degree.

By Doug Gillett

One student was headed toward a career in hospital administration until she heard the call of nursing. Another spent several years in UAB’s research labs but decided she wanted a health-care career with more one-on-one contact. Yet another left a successful career in athletic training, working with some of the Southeast’s most prestigious college-football programs, to forge a new path in nursing.

All of these students joined the first class of the UAB School of Nursing’s Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway for Second Degree Students. The program offers college graduates with bachelor’s degrees—even degrees unrelated to health care—a “fast track” to a master’s degree in nursing and an opportunity to sit for the nursing board exams.

From the moment they joined the program in May 2008 until they receive their master’s degrees in August 2010, this first group of students will experience some of the most in-depth training available to nurses anywhere. In this series of audiocasts, the students explain what prompted them to seek out new opportunities in nursing; they also discuss the challenges they’ve faced in the program and talk about the rewards they’ve already found in their new field.

Jennifer Payne Jennifer Payne

Jennifer Payne is exchanging a career in health-care management for a more patient-centered focus. “When I worked in labor and delivery, I loved the excitement,” she says. “It’s a thrill every day, and to see a baby take its first breath is the most amazing miracle.”

Listen to her story by clicking the "play" button below.




Bryan Combs Bryan Combs

Bryan Combs has found the same sense of camaraderie among his fellow nursing students that he experienced in his years as an athletic trainer for major college-football programs. “We’re together all the time,” he says. “It’s kind of going from one family to another.”

Listen to his story by clicking the "play" button below.




Jennifer Payne Dawn Horn

Dawn Horn worked as a researcher in UAB’s Department of Medicine before joining the master’s program. Although the rigorous schedule leaves little time for anything else, it’s “worth the sacrifice when you see a patient… that remembered your care,” she says.

Listen to her story by clicking the "play" button below.



More Information

UAB School of Nursing

Accelerated Master's in Nursing Pathway for Second Degree Students

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