About Ashlee Quick, MSN, APRN, FNP-C: Ashlee Quick is a Family Nurse Practitioner with over 10 years of experience in health care. She has worked with a wide range of patient populations, both as a Registered Nurse and an NP, practicing in North Carolina, New York, Texas, and now Georgia. Ms. Quick currently resides in Hinesville, Georgia, where she treats patients at a weight loss and testosterone therapy clinic. Prior to her current position, she worked in chronic pain management for almost three years.
Ms. Quick holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. In 2013, she graduated from the online Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Cincinnati, earning her MSN in the specialty.
[OnlineFNPPrograms.com] May we please have a brief description of your educational and professional background in nursing?
[Ashlee Quick, MSN, APRN, FNP-C] My name is Ashlee Quick, and I am a Family Nurse Practitioner. I obtained my Master’s degree from University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor’s from North Carolina A&T State University. I’m a native of Southern Maryland; however, I’ve spent most of my career traveling as a military spouse. I have been in the healthcare industry for greater than 10 years, and have a wide and diverse background working with all populations, neonatal to geriatrics.
As a nurse practitioner, I have worked in chronic pain management and family medicine. Currently, I am serving the community’s weight loss and testosterone replacement needs; treating patients 18 and up who suffer from chronic obesity, fatigue, and low testosterone. Offering weight loss programs that include but are not exclusive to phentermine and HCG, as well as B12 and weekly testosterone replacement. I am a local member of the Fort Stewart community and attend Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Hinesville, Georgia. Health promotion, beauty, and wellness are my passions.
[OnlineFNPPrograms.com] What motivated you to pursue your MSN online? What advantages did you see to online education? Did the online program at the University of Cincinnati meet these expectations?
[Ashlee Quick, MSN, APRN, FNP-C] As a military spouse, you are often required to relocate on short notice. If I was going to further my education I needed a program that would allow me to be mobile. I also wanted the ability to attend school while maintaining my home and career obligations. This was my motivation for pursuing my degree online.
The University of Cincinnati provided this flexibility for me. I researched several of their program options and decided to move forward with the online family nurse practitioner program. This by far has been one of the best decisions for my career. Most of the other students that I interacted with during the program were also working fulltime, had children and spouses, as well as various community obligations. In the two years it took to complete my master’s degree, I held residence in three separate states. I could complete the coursework whenever convenient for my schedule also allowing me to maintain a job. The University of Cincinnati online program exceeded my education expectations.
[OnlineFNPPrograms.com] How did UC’s online platform enable you to interact with faculty members and classmates? Were courses asynchronous, synchronous, or a combination of both? How often did you interact with faculty, and did you feel that your instructors were accessible to online students?
[Ashlee Quick, MSN, APRN, FNP-C] At the beginning of each semester, as in most classes, a syllabus was given. In your syllabus was basically an outline of the course with due dates and different platforms to contact your instructors. Some instructors had virtual office hours, others responded via email or telephone. Regardless of which communication tool the instructor was using, I always felt that they were easy to reach and willing to help if you needed clarification. As I recall in most classes the blackboard platform was used and was a space to interact with the professors and other classmates on a weekly basis. Built into the curriculum were assignments that required you work with other online students and encouraged critical thinking skills.
[OnlineFNPPrograms.com] What were the major pros and cons of pursuing your graduate nursing degree online? What challenges did you encounter throughout your completion of the online program, and how did you address them? On the flip side, what did you enjoy most about completing your MSN degree online?
[Ashlee Quick, MSN, APRN, FNP-C] The biggest challenge that I faced during the program was securing a preceptor and clinical site location. This is the responsibility of the student. Many providers are inundated with student requests to precept. This can be time consuming for the preceptor and may result in turning away future students. Other times the organization with which the preceptor is employed can be a barrier to securing a clinical site. The school did provide recommendations via databases to locate practitioners in the area. I was able to secure one of my preceptors using their suggestions therefore I did find it helpful.
As mentioned earlier, what I found most enjoyable about completing my degree online was the flexibility. I worked fulltime and had family obligations as a spouse while in school. The flexibility of this online program allowed me to continue my lifestyle obligations while furthering my education.
[OnlineFNPPrograms.com] Clinical practicums are a major component of graduate nursing education. Can you briefly describe how the University of Cincinnati handles clinical placements for online students? Can you elaborate on your experiences in your clinical practicum rotations and what were some key takeaways from your rotations that you feel helped you successfully make the transition from being a registered nurse to being a health care provider?
[Ashlee Quick, MSN, APRN, FNP-C] The university does not place students into clinical sites. It is the responsibility of the student to secure a clinical site and preceptor. The university outlines clinical requirements dependent upon specialty and preceptor credentials. Once your preceptor and site is secured, their credentials are verified by the university and a contract is signed. This can be a very daunting task. My advice for future students is to secure your preceptor as early as possible.
The clinical rotations are what you make it. Absorb the most knowledge from your preceptors as possible. It will likely be the most time another provider has to invest in your learning. Discuss your weaknesses with your preceptor. This serves as a guide to expand your skills and exposure while still being a student. Choose practicum sites where you would see yourself working in the future. If a practitioner is impressed with you this is likely a doorway to employment after graduation.
[OnlineFNPPrograms.com] What advice would you give students just starting UC’s online MSN program? More broadly, what advice would you give students who are just starting or considering an online MSN program, whether it be at the University of Cincinnati or another institution?
[Ashlee Quick, MSN, APRN, FNP-C] If you are considering an online program you must be disciplined to be successful. For students just starting UC’s online MSN program, I would encourage them to create a set regimen. There needs to be a balance of work life and leisure time. Have set days where you plan to study, read, and complete your coursework. Establish other set times to enjoy family, friends, and leisure activities. This balance will reduce stress when feeling overwhelmed.
My advice to any student furthering their education is the same. It is not about who is the smartest, but who has the tenacity to see it through. The work and reading requirements sometimes can seem overwhelming. You will not retain every piece of information you see, but the person who is persistent and continues to push forward will be successful. I was able to secure fulltime employment as a nurse practitioner within 90 days of graduation from my program. Pursuing my MSN as a family nurse practitioner was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Thank you, Ms. Quick, for participating in our alumni interview series, and sharing your experience as an online FNP student!