National Nurses Week Profile: Amy Speanburg
Master of Science in nursing student Amy Speanburg, a resident of Saratoga Springs, NY, was drawn to the nursing profession at a young age. At 18, she became ill and spent time in the hospital, undergoing several surgeries. Her experiences there inspired her to pursue a career helping others.
Now Speanburg pulls double duty at Saratoga Hospital, working in clinical informatics as well as an RN in the medical surgery unit. She also moonlights as a student, working her way through Excelsior College’s online Master of Science in nursing program, specializing in informatics, a field that piqued her interest since she began her nursing career.
“When I started in nursing we lived in a paper world, and I got to see it transition…witness the transformation from an all-paper facility to one that’s almost 100 percent electronic,” said Speanburg, reflecting on her time at Glens Falls Hospital. “When I came to Saratoga, they were still using paper, so I was able to use my experience to help them make the switch.”
Informatics is a field; however, that often requires an advanced degree.
Having earned her undergraduate degree via online, Speanburg was accustomed to the distance learning environment but unsure of where to pursue her graduate education. She met with the chief nursing officer at Saratoga Hospital and discussed both her educational options and her needs, which included finding a way to balance a busy work schedule.
Together, they decided that Excelsior would be the right fit for her. Beyond having an informatics program, Excelsior also has a partnership with Saratoga Hospital. Through this agreement, RNs like Speanburg (and their spouses) can pursue advanced degrees at reduced tuition rates and fees.
“I took an Excelsior class through the hospital a few years back, a wound care class, which worked well with me working full-time,” said Speanburg who was also impressed by Excelsior’s extensive online resources.
“Even though it’s an online school, I like that (Excelsior) is local and there are still people who work for the school right in town that I can go to if I have problems. It seems to work really well with my schedule with the way the classes are. I have a support system at hospital with all the nurses who go to Excelsior.”
So, what does the future hold for Speanburg?
“Having a master’s in informatics will give me experience to do my job better.”