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Ruth E. Irwin

Doctrate in Nursing (PhD)

Ruth E. Irwin, Nursing Graduate

Current City:           Jeannette, Pa.
Graduation Year:    2013
Degree:                   PhD in Nursing
Occupation:            Director of Nursing Programs at Westmoreland County Community College

Why did you select this online program?

I evaluated numerous programs. When talking to recruiters at the schools, Duquesne University nursing recruiters were the most pleasant, engaging and informative. I felt like all of the attention was on me, giving me the information I needed to know to make a sound decision. The School of Nursing is recognized as a leader in nursing education, too. I was encouraged in regards to the online courses and tested the waters when I had to retake the graduate statistic courses over. Throughout the program, faculty member Dr. Gibbs was very attentive and responded quickly to my inquiries.

What was the most valuable thing you learned in your program?

How to actively engage in online education with nurses educated throughout the world. The various viewpoints expressed in online education and the ability to "ease drop" on all the classroom conversations (discussion board) versus just the conversations with people sitting near you in the classroom.

How have you benefitted from your degree?

I have finally achieved the terminal degree in my area of expertise. I have earned the credentials to move forward on my career path and research to contribute to the profession of nursing.

What advice would you give to people considering this degree program?

Take the time to communicate with the recruiters and become comfortable in the experience at Duquesne. Also, in preparation for the PhD, realize that creation of a schedule each semester will help you to evaluate the ability to balance the course of studies, work and home life.

What were your thoughts on the online educational experience?

I would do it over again in a heartbeat. It was a great experience to take the online courses. I was better able to juggle the course work, home and career since the "commute to class time" was eliminated. Any time I had a spare moment I could be in class by walking to my home office.