Frankie McCann: Lifelong Learner
By Mike Lesczinski, Excelsior Life News Staff--
If you look up lifelong learner in the dictionary, you might discover a photo of Frankie McCann, a three-time graduate of Excelsior College.
Frankie dreamed of becoming a nurse at a young age, enrolling in nursing school directly after high school. Life changed though with the birth of a child. With money tight, Frankie put her educational ambitions aside for the good of her family – taking a job as a respiratory therapist and the opportunity to raise her son and daughter.
Over the coming decade she bounced around the United States, following her husband, whose job required several relocations. Yet never once did she give up on her nursing dream. During a stay in Kentucky, she met a nurse who had earned an associate degree through Excelsior College’s competency-based nursing program.
Frankie was intrigued by the idea that no matter where she traveled, Excelsior was there. And in 1997 she enrolled in the College’s nursing program seeking an associate degree. Thanks to Excelsior’s flexibility, she had found a way to balance home and school.
After Frankie graduated and secured a nursing job, she remained committed to the idea of lifelong learning, enrolling in Excelsior’s Bachelor of Science in Business program to secure a greater understanding of the corporate side of the health care industry. The craving for knowledge was still strong for Frankie though even after earning her degree. With the complexities of the health care industry rapidly changing and the nursing requirements becoming more stringent, Frankie wanted to pursue her graduate degree.
So that’s what she did, enrolling in Excelsior College’s Master of Science in Nursing program.
Unfortunately, as it often does, life derails even the best laid plans. With layoffs costing her husband his job, Frankie changed tracks, pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a path with more credit-by-examination offerings. Exams were more economical and had even more flexibility than the historically flexible online courses.
She convinced her husband Ed to return to school after he lost his job. He enrolled in Excelsior’s Center for Professional Development and completed a non-credit Pharmacy Technician course in 2010 that prepared him for industry certification.
Frankie graduated this past July and with her bachelor’s degree in hand, she looks towards a more promising future in nursing.