Williston RN multi-tasks to care for patients, family, while continuing education online

photo Toni Bova, NDSU RN to BSN student

“I get to make a difference in people’s lives. I think that’s the best part,” said Toni Hammer, who works as a registered nurse in Williston, North Dakota.

Though her life took some twists and turns to reach her goals as a nurse, Hammer found a way to combine working fulltime with caring for her family, while advancing her options in nursing through traditional and online programs available in North Dakota.

Hammer started on the path to healthcare by being a volunteer EMT in Lignite, North Dakota, and later worked as a medical transcriptionist. She received her Associate of Applied Science degree from Williston State College in 2021. After passing her board exams, she followed her path to become a nurse at the local hospital.

Nursing shortages at the state and local level underscore the continued need for nurses at all levels, and Hammer knew she wanted to continue developing her nursing and leadership skills.

photo of NDSU Toni Bova

Working fulltime as a nurse and caring for her four kids means that time is tight for Bova. She found the option that fit her needs in the North Dakota State University online RN to BSN program. “I always want to be able to keep up on the most recent practices to better serve my patients. This program has a dedicated class specific to evidence-based practice and I'm very excited to learn from it,” explained Hammer.

“Online education was probably the best option for me as I am also a mother of four, working fulltime and trying to go to school. So online is convenient. They really take into consideration that we are nurses that work. And we do have to sleep!” laughs Hammer.

“Everyone I’ve come across so far is quite wonderful as far as answering questions. If you have any trouble with homework, they’re ready to help you,” she said.

She also appreciates that the part-time NDSU online program gives her flexibility.

“I believe that it will further my education as a nurse. I think it will help me to be a better nurse but not just through education, but also through practice. Maybe even one day this degree will help me to take on a leadership role in my career,” she said.

“As a nurse, I just keep trying every day to make a difference in someone's life, and that in itself is rewarding,” said Hammer.

More information about the NDSU online RN to BSN program is available at https://www.ndsu.edu/nursing/degrees/rn_to_bsn_track/

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