Grande Prairie nurse advances career—without leaving home
Transforming Lives: Learners of AU is an ongoing series where real students and alumni share how AU’s flexible learning model made a difference in their lives and, in turn, the communities in which they live and work. Submit your story.
Terra McKinnon earned a Master of Nursing without relocating from northwestern Alberta
I finished my bachelor of science in nursing in 2007 through the University of Alberta and Grande Prairie Regional College. I had a great career but always have a drive to learn more!
While on maternity leave, I applied to Athabasca University’s Master of Nursing program and was accepted. I live in Grande Prairie, so it was great to be able to pursue my masters without having to leave our hometown!
“I live in Grande Prairie, so it was great to be able to pursue my masters without having to leave our hometown!”– Terra McKinnon (Master of Nursing '17)
The MN program opened so many doors to me in my profession, and I was offered a management position just prior to finishing the program. I had never been to Athabasca prior to my graduation and I was so impressed with the community and the grad ceremonies. There was a personal touch with the faculty coming to greet all the grads before we went on the stage. Little things make a difference!
I enjoyed learning with my fellow students, both nurses and other disciplines. My husband is also a registered nurse and has decided to pursue more education. He is currently an AU student enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program. I can’t wait to go to his graduation!
I had a great experience with AU and would recommend it to others. I now have a degree that I couldn’t have earned in my own city and that is because of the flexibility of the AU program. I look forward to going back to school again, and just need to choose what will be next. I will always be a nurse but leadership or an MBA sounds interesting to me!
Being on a maternity leave and doing university graduate-level courses is a luxury that not everyone has! Thank you for all your organization does!