Kathy and Megan McLain have more in common than just being mother and daughter and receiving degrees together at MCCN’s 2015 Commencement. A painful family experience led them both to explore nursing as a second career from previous backgrounds in business, and they both took the same path to get there. Last weekend, they took the next steps to ensure that dream was realized. Kathy McLain, an instructor in the Second Degree Accelerated Program (SDAP) at MCCN, received her Master of Science (MS) degree, while her daughter Megan McLain received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

“I had taken care of my mother for many years and witnessed many healthcare issues. I thought that I could do [nursing] and help other people. So I went to school after my mother passed away,” said Kathy.

“I helped take care of grandmother. I didn’t appreciate the care she received in other hospitals. I wanted to become a nurse so that other family members of patients wouldn’t have to go through what we did,” added Megan.

Kathy first enrolled at The Ohio State University at Newark to obtain her RN, a path Megan followed after she received her bachelor’s degree in business from Otterbein University. After Kathy completed MCCN’s Online RN-BSN Program, she worked for a while at Ohio State, but decided to come back to MCCN to pursue her master’s degree. Meanwhile, Megan followed Kathy’s previous path through MCCN’s Online RN-BSN Program.

“I wanted to come back for nursing education and I came back to Mount Carmel because they offered an education track. I like that it’s a smaller college and I know that the instructors are here to help guide the students -- they want to see you achieve. I also like that it’s a faith-based institution,” said Kathy.

“I liked that the College is faith-based. I felt a connection as a Catholic and the College has similar values to mine. I liked that I was able to go my own pace through Mount Carmel’s Online RN-BSN Program. I worked full time and was still able to be considered a full-time student. The flexibility was great for me and the feedback from instructors was great; they responded well,” added Megan.

Going to school together had its advantages. “We were able to support each other. We both knew what working on a huge paper meant. We were able to respect each other and understand what the other was going through. The classes were different, but we understood the undertaking,” said Megan. “We support each other and play off each other. I look up to my mom and all the things she’s accomplished, and we want each other to succeed, so we keep pushing each other to achieve the most we can,” she added.

Now that they’ve received their degrees, both Kathy and Megan are ready to take their next steps. Megan already has a job in the emergency department at Mount Carmel West. She eventually would like to continue her nursing education with advanced degrees and hopes to merge her nursing skills with her previously earned business degree. Kathy will continue to serve as an SDAP instructor at MCCN and may consider furthering her nursing education down the road as well.

To others still working on achieving their dream in nursing, Kathy and Megan offered some advice.

“If you’re going to pursue the Online RN-BSN Program, you need organization. The College does give you flexibility to do it on your own time, but you still have responsibility for assignments that are due. Always ask for help if you don’t know where to go for resources. The instructors are respectful of your time and help you get to assignments. They are there to help you succeed. Take one week at a time and plan ahead. It goes by much quicker than you realize,” said Megan.

“We were told by Angie Phillips how difficult the Master’s Program journey would be and to just focus on the end result to get through it. I had to dig deep at times to get through some of it, but I did just that. Keep focused on the end goal,” added Kathy.

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