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Jill Howard has worked in healthcare her entire career. Most of her professional experience is in nursing, where she moved quickly up the management ladder. She became a nurse manager at age 22 and spent several years as a director of nursing before finding her real passion—hospital administration. Feeling dissatisfied with her potential for advancement, she decided to go back to school.
After researching several online options, Jill enrolled in Western Governors University’s MBA in Healthcare Management program. Jill said that WGU’s competency-based learning model and the ability for her to work on her own schedule were ideal for her. She managed to complete her master’s degree in a little over two years with a toddler at home and a challenging full-time job that included several promotions. “It was the biggest accomplishment of my life,” said Jill about earning her degree.
Jill’s ultimate success came immediately after she graduated in 2010 and an executive at her hospital retired. “Thirty-eight CEO, COO, and CFO candidates applied, and after a very lengthy interview process, I was chosen to fill the position,” said Jill, who is now the chief operating officer at an HCA TriStar hospital in Nashville. “I truly believe that my MBA and the experience I have as a result of obtaining [my degree] resulted in me having my dream job.”
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