Lisa Iorio, a BSN graduate from the Worcester campus in 2009, returns to MCPHS University to complete her MSN in the Family Nurse Practitioner track. Anthony Lacina, Beats per Minute editor, recently interviewed Lisa about her experience as a registered nurse and graduate student. Please read below!
AL: Tell me a bit about yourself, where did your interest in nursing come from?
LI: I am an identical twin, and my twin sister, Michelle, is also an RN who is pursuing her master’s for a nurse practitioner, but in critical care. I grew up in Stowe, Vermont, where I learned to ski! I was also a competitive figure skater for 12+ years and a pianist as well. I decided to pursue nursing because I have always loved helping others and it is a great career to enter. Being a nurse provides so many opportunities, and the possibilities of specialties within the nursing profession are endless!
AL: Since graduating from MCPHS-Worcester in 2009, what have you been up to?
LI: Since graduating from MCPHS in 2009, I continued to run my personal training business (until January 2016). Additionally, I pursued a nursing career in the OR. In fact, I have been working at Boston Medical Center since 2012, currently in the OR per-diem. Outside of my career, I have moved to Boston in 2013 and bought a condominium with my twin sister. We actually both work at BMC across the hall from each other, which REALLY confuses everyone!
AL: Why did you decide to come back to MCPHS for your FNP? Why do you want to be an FNP?
LI: I decided to come back to MCPHS for my masters because I appreciated the quality education MCPHS provided me back in 2008-2009. I also liked the flexible online program, as it is conducive to a fast-paced lifestyle. I decided to become an FNP for various reasons: I wanted more of a challenge than what the OR was providing for me, greater autonomy, and I have a strong interest in women’s health, so I am hoping to pursue an NP career in that capacity.
AL: I know you are a Class Representative. Would you mind talking about what you do as a Class Representative?
LI: Dr. Rosen, Assistant Dean of Graduate Nursing Studies, nominated me back in May 2015 to become a Class Representative for the FNP Class of 2017. As such, I periodically send out emails to the students to address any issues, concerns, and questions. Furthermore, I act as the class leader and relay pertinent information to fellow students. To improve this cause, I created a Facebook group where the students in the class can communicate with one another, bring up any issues, and motivate each other!
AL: As you were an on-campus student before, how was adapting to an online learning environment? Do you have any tips for students who are considering an online program?
LI: Prior to entering the MCPHS online program, I took online classes so I had a bit of a sense of what the program would entail. There is a huge difference between online learning and in-class learning; online learners must be highly self-motivated and skilled in time-management. Many people think online learning is easier, but in fact, it is more challenging. As an online student, you must make sure you are on track with the reading, discussion boards, and papers, because there is not a professor reminding you that your paper is due in two weeks! For future students wanting to pursue an online education, I would strongly encourage buying a planner, previewing the syllabus, and writing down all of the assignments. It is so important to stay ahead of assignments; I find myself reading ahead so I think that time-management and self-motivation are key to successful online learning.
AL: So far, where has been your favorite FNP clinical rotation? Why?
LI: My favorite clinical rotation so far was at Neponset Health Center. Neponset Health Center is a community health center located in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston. During this rotation, I saw a wide variety of patients, from those with cholesterol and endocrine diseases, to those with vaginal concerns and sexually transmitted infections. This rotation allowed me to see patients on my own, determine differential diagnoses, diagnose, prescribe, and create a plan for the patient. It allowed autonomy while providing a great experience.
AL: What are your overall thoughts of your experience at MCPHS University?
LI: Overall, I have had a great experience at MCPHS University in the FNP program. The courses provide students with a wide knowledge base, the professors are supportive, and my clinical experiences have been wonderful.