ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: A Career in its Infancy
Even though Katelyn Warner just finished her BSN (May 2013) and has already landed a great job in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, she has every intention of continuing her education in the not too distant future.
“I want to work for a few years to gain some experience, but I’m definitely planning to go back to school to earn my DNP,” she explained.
Warner recently took time to talk about her undergrad experience at UI’s College of Nursing, her current area of practice, as well as her future plans and aspirations.
Describe the moment you knew you wanted to be a nurse?
I don't know that there was a specific moment. I just knew that I wanted to be in a profession where I could help people because it was what I loved to do. I really enjoyed psychology and human sciences in high school so nursing seemed like a great opportunity to combine all of my interests.
Why did you choose the University of Iowa for your education?
I chose the University of Iowa because of its prestigious nursing program. Early admission into the program was also a great reward for all of the hard work I did in high school.
As a recent graduate, what will you remember most about your time as a UI College of Nursing student?
The people I have met. I have been introduced to some wonderful faculty mentors and made some lifelong friends.
En route to completing your BSN, was there a particular class or instructor that stood out?
The classes that I enjoyed the most while completing my BSN were actually the clinical experiences. They provided me with the opportunity to put my knowledge into action. The various patients that I met throughout my clinical work solidified in my mind that I chose the right career path.
When you first enrolled at Iowa, did you know what you wanted to do with your degree?
When I first enrolled, my dream job was to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Has this changed over time?
Yes, my current goal is to work with my BSN for a few years to gain some experience then go back to school to earn my Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Acute Pediatric Care.
Do you believe your educational experience at UI enhanced your preparation for entering the profession?
Without question. My educational experience at UI has laid solid groundwork for working in the nursing profession. The classes and clinical experiences—plus my work as a nursing assistant—have extensively prepared me to begin my career as a registered nurse.
How do you anticipate the nursing profession will change the most over the course of your career?
In the next few years, I believe that many more nurses will be going back to school for advanced degrees, thereby giving nurses more autonomy in their profession.
What words of advice would you give to current or future nursing students?
Work hard but make sure that you set aside time for fun. College, even in nursing, is not all about the grades. It's about the experiences you'll never forget and the building of lifelong friendships.
What’s next (personally or professionally) for Katelyn Warner?
I recently accepted a position as a registered nurse in the pediatric ICU at UI Children's Hospital.