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After working in nursing as a family practice manager for twenty-five years, Tammy Hosang learned that her practice was joining a larger group and that all of the employees, including Tammy, were going to lose their jobs.
“My life changed forever in one quiet meeting,” said Tammy. “It was devastating, and it almost felt like going through a divorce. A very long happy chapter in my life was coming to a close.”
Weighing her options, Tammy decided to up the ante with a Master of Science and Nursing Education degree so she could leverage her life-long career to teach a new generation of nurses the ropes. In the meantime, Tammy managed to secure a job as a nurse in a large Detroit hospital but was assigned midnight shifts. Between raising young teenagers at home and this new, grueling work schedule, finding the time to earn her master’s degree would be a challenge.
When Tammy began researching potential universities, she was discouraged by how difficult the programs would be to integrate into her schedule and how extremely costly they were. She also wanted her decades of experience being a nurse to count somehow. When she found WGU, she discovered she could go at her own pace, learning was competency-based and the tuition was very affordable. She decided to enroll.
“Some of the nurses I work with have spent $40,000 and up getting their master’s,” Tammy said. “It was nowhere near that at Western Governors University. If you are willing to work hard, it’s a great university.”
Initially nervous about online learning because she had limited computer skills, Tammy was able to master the online format and managed to stay motivated throughout her coursework, with the help of her WGU mentor.
“I learned that I’m stronger than I ever thought I was. Education has always meant a lot to me, but I didn’t think I could accomplish this in this amount of time. Once I put my mind to it, I said ‘I’m going to finish,’” said Tammy. “If I can do this at my age, I want people to know and believe that it is never too late to go for it in life.”
Tammy completed her Master of Science and Nursing Education degree at WGU in August 2010. Her new title at the hospital is “Clinical Nurse Specialist” and she is currently teaching the nurses of the future.
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