Theresa Twegbe wasn't having much luck finding a job. She then took a step that had recruiters calling — she enrolled in La Salle University's online RN to BSN program.
"When I became an RN, I started putting out applications and I was not hearing from anybody," Twegbe said. "So, when I signed up for the BSN program at La Salle, I went in and I changed my resume and stuck it in there — BSN student, La Salle University — and by the following week, I was getting calls. By the following week, I was hired."
Twegbe, who works at a Philadelphia-based urgent care facility for children, started La Salle's online RN to BSN program in August 2017 with an eye on completing the program in one year. She surpassed her goal when she graduated maxima cum laude in August 2018.
"It was a hectic race, but I finished it in grand style," she said.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Twegbe started La Salle University's Master of Science in Nursing program (Clinical Nurse Leader track) in January 2019.
"Nursing is my passion. I got into nursing because I love to take care of people, so for me, it's not a job. I wake up every morning and go do what I love. I always go in with a smile, because I get paid to do what I love. That's great!"
After working for eight years as an LPN, Twegbe was ready to expand her horizons. "I went back and got my RN license, but after I got my RN, I realized that in order to be in a leadership position, you have to get your BSN," she said.
"I loved the La Salle RN to BSN program. It met all my expectations as a registered nurse," she said. "I feel like I'm going to go out there and do right by my patients. I'm equipped with the knowledge to provide safe care."
Twegbe spent 24-30 hours per week on schoolwork for the RN to BSN program. She believes it provided her with knowledge that is relevant to her career. She found the course NUR 301: Professional Nursing Practice and Health Information Systems especially relevant.
"We did research and used models which emphasize providing safe nursing care to our patients. Safety is a big issue in modern-day nursing. You have to provide a safe environment for your patients, and our professors incorporated it in all our models," she said.
Twegbe also believes the RN to BSN program helped her prepare for leadership.
"After I got my RN, I realized that in order to be in a leadership position you have to get your BSN," she said. "I realized that I had some good and strong leadership capabilities, and I wanted my patients to benefit from my leadership skills."
Born to Lead
As an RN student, Twegbe received plenty of encouragement from her professors.
"All my professors saw leadership capabilities in me. They all would say, 'Theresa, when you graduate you have to go forward — you have to get your BSN. You also must get your master's because you do have the capabilities.'"
Once she had earned her RN license, she received further validation of her leadership skills.
"My supervisors used to see leadership capabilities in me because I would always volunteer when they were short of charge nurses," she said.
Loyal to La Salle
In her previous experience as an online student, she did not have access to her instructors. "They were not available, so when I went into the [La Salle] program, I was shocked — the first day I called Ms. Kathleen and she answered the phone. I was like, 'I'm really speaking to my professor!' And she not only answered the phone, she stayed on the phone and we resolved the issue.
"She's excellent; she's available. She just gives you what you need to excel," Twegbe said of Dr. Czekanski. "She's very kind, and she's willing to help."
She views La Salle's dedication to its students as "part of the culture of Catholic institutions. They're all committed to excellence, and they want to see their students excel."
As an enthusiastic proponent of La Salle's online RN to BSN program, Twegbe believes in paying it forward.
"Oh, I'm spreading the word," she said. "I'm spreading the word because being a nurse, I'm that type of person. If something is good, I want to get it out there for my patients; I want to get it out there to the community. I'm telling people about the program. I'm calling my former nursing school students. I'm telling them, 'When you graduate, call La Salle. Go online — just Google La Salle RN to BSN and get in. It's a very good program.'"
Her advice to potential students: "Don't waste your time; don't go searching online — come to La Salle. You're getting a Catholic education. I sum it up in three ways: academic excellence, high expectations and commitment."
Garden State Transplant
Twegbe grew up in Liberia, West Africa, and is a resident of Burlington County, New Jersey. She lived in Maryland for a short time, but has called New Jersey home for about 13 years. She loves to read, cook, learn new things, serve others, watch movies and write poetry.
She considers La Salle her home and hopes her love for its RN to BSN program will inspire other nurses to join.
"Other students are going to see my testimonial, come to La Salle, get a good education, and go out into the community," Twegbe said. "They're going to be good nurses and good leaders, and the patients are going to benefit.
"The RN to BSN program changed my direction. It changed my career."
Learn more about the La Salle online RN to BSN program.
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