Many Paths: Lauren’s Story

Lauren DeVries had planned to pursue a career in public health, crafting health policy and strategy. Her Peace Corps service in Uganda, however, inspired her to choose a different path.

“I worked part time at a health center in my community, predominately with the midwives and village health team, and fell in love. I felt myself being called to their same work,” she says.

Whether it was sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to join a midwife friend at a birth or accompanying village health volunteers as they checked on their neighbors, DeVries saw the power of one-on-one interactions. She saw how proactive measures helped people avoid the need for expensive, critical care. And she saw how people taking care of each other created healthier communities.

“The preventative, community-based approach is my motivating factor for going into a nursing career,” she explains.

DeVries, however, already possessed a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, as well as three years of Peace Corps service, professional health care and research experience, and training as a doula. To become a nurse, would she have to return to square one? Or could she find a degree program that would value and build upon her prior experience?

Thankfully, it was the latter.

“One day I was online, and an ad for Alverno’s DEMSN program popped up,” she says. “I was excited about the prospect of completing a BSN and MSN in 18 months, being close to home, and having a small cohort.”

Designed for professionals who have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, the Alverno Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (DEMSN) program provides an accelerated path for women and men to become licensed nurses, master advanced clinical skills and grow as health care leaders.

DeVries enrolled, excited to be working toward her career goals of becoming a certified nurse midwife, and possibly a family nurse practitioner.

“I hope to split my time practicing in the U.S. and Uganda, which are both home for me now,” she says. “Other goals I have in the future would be to work on health policy and possibly teach.”

Ready for a career change? Click here to learn more about Alverno’s Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program.

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