Hi, I'm Trisha Bakowski, and I'm a grad student in the nursing program at RIC, in the clinical nurse specialist track. I have been a nurse for 17 years. After so many years in the field, I decided that I wanted to advance my career. I chose the CNS track because I have a passion for improving quality within the nursing field, and also for encouraging nurses to feel empowered to make changes to their practice and throughout their organization. As a clinical nurse specialist, I have the opportunity to create improvements in patient outcomes by managing patient care, by providing support and education to the nurses at the bedside, and to drive change within my own organization based on best practices. When looking at education options, I knew I wanted a program that was most importantly going to support me as an individual, especially because I am an older learner and have been out of the school environment for so long. From the very first phone call, I made to inquire about the program. I knew that RIC was going to be the right fit for me. Within 24 hours, I had received a phone call from both the Director of the Master's Nursing Program, as well as the Director of the Clinical Nurse Specialist Program. And before they really even knew who I was or had met me personally, I could tell that they were invested in my success. Over the past year, my first intuition has definitely proven to be correct. I feel like I am consistently supported and guided throughout my process here at RIC. My advisor has been in frequent communication with me sometimes just to call and check in to see how a class is going. The instructors have all been extremely supportive, willing to work with you, whether it's providing additional educational support or just being flexible and when someone has to work full time and manage a family, flexibility is really important. In addition, every bit of education that I've received here at RIC will absolutely be applicable to my career. And I feel like when I graduate I will have all the tools that I need to be successful. I can honestly say that I have been very happy with my experience in the graduate program here at RIC.