Tony Maccani is a 2013 graduate of the MSN-MAGELIN (Master’s Graduate Entry Level Into Nursing) program at Mount St. Joseph University. MSN-MAGELIN allows students who obtained a bachelor’s degree in any major other than nursing to pursue a master’s degree and enter the field of nursing. It’s a great option for those fresh out of college who have had a change of heart regarding their career direction as well as those who have been working in another profession and want to transition into nursing.
Tony’s journey to becoming a nurse began after an injury on the baseball field. His desire to change careers led him back to the classroom, and to the campus at the Mount. We asked Tony to share some of his own experiences with the MSN-MAGELIN program.
What was your career/job prior to MSN-MAGELIN?
Before starting the MAGELIN program, I was pursuing my dream of playing major league baseball and had signed with the New York Mets. I was lucky to have the opportunity, but following an injury, my professional baseball career came to an abrupt end. In high school, I had recognized the potential in a career as a nurse, so when I moved back to Cincinnati after retiring from baseball, nursing seemed like a great opportunity and an exciting profession to pursue.
How did you find Mount St. Joseph University and the MSN-MAGELIN program?
To obtain my master’s degree in nursing, I began taking prerequisite classes. In Cincinnati, there are several highly respected universities with accelerated nursing programs. After starting these classes, one of my professors mentioned the MAGELIN program at the Mount. I researched it and set up an appointment the next day with the admissions office to visit. I knew that I wanted to pursue my nursing degree through the accelerated pathway. I wanted to take the NCLEX as soon as possible and begin working as a nurse. The Mount’s program proved to be the best choice for me.
What did you learn most from the MSN-MAGELIN program?
Besides learning the art and science of nursing, the MAGELIN program challenged me in many different ways. The accelerated program taught me to be organized, prepared and flexible. The program demands a lot out of the students; setting goals and priorities went a long way in the program and translated directly to my work now in the hospital.
What did you enjoy most in the program?
The thing I enjoyed most in the program was the clinical experiences. The variety of choices exposed me to all aspects of health care and directed me towards the role I chose as a nurse.
Did you find the MSN-MAGELIN program challenging?
The MAGELIN program was challenging for many reasons. The fast pace academic schedule made for a heavy workload every semester. I found myself scheduling my free time rather than scheduling my study time. I knew I needed to be dedicated to the program if I was going to be successful. My desire to accomplish my goal of becoming a registered nurse pushed me to stay focus and continue through the hard work
Tell us about your first job after graduating with your master’s degree.
After graduating the program and passing the NCLEX, I started at Cincinnati Children’s in the Specialty Resource Unit (SRU). This was a great opportunity for me because I wanted to work in pediatrics after completing a clinical rotation at Children’s, and this role fit me perfectly. SRU is a unique position at Cincinnati Children’s. Being part of the SRU, I am able to make my own schedule which enables flexibility. I am required to work an allotted time for weekend and holiday hours, but otherwise I can decide which days I work.
Typically, I work twelve-hour shifts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. I am on the Days Team for SRU, which means each day I fill in where there are needs in the hospital. I usually go to the intensive care units, but we could go anywhere the hospital needs help. It is a challenging role in the hospital, but I enjoy the variety and get to meet a lot of people and work with a lot of different patients. I’ve been at Cincinnati Children’s for three years in the same nursing role.
With that experience, which area of nursing do you find the most fascinating?
This is a tough question. Right now, I enjoy my role in bedside nursing. Every day I am amazed at what we are able to accomplish for our patients. This is reflected in the respect from patients, families and loved ones in the hospital demonstrated toward me. I am fascinated by the resilience of children; my goal each shift is to make my patient as happy as possible, and maybe forget for a second that they are in the hospital.
Are you involved in any nursing professional organizations?
I am involved with the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN). AAMN has been a great resource for furthering my nursing career and advancing my clinical expertise. Through conferences with AAMN, I have discovered more than I ever knew about being a man in nursing and how these experiences have shaped not only my career, but the career of every nurse.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
As my career progresses as a nurse, I have had the opportunity to work with many different nurses throughout the spectrum of nursing. It is hard for me to say what the future holds because I am happy in my current role. I would like to do something in education, but I want to make it the right position.
Anything else you would like to share?
I recently received the DAISY award in recognition of my work at Children’s. It was great to be recognized by a family for my care of their child. The response of the staff at Children’s since receiving the award has been an inspiring experience and has encouraged me to continue to share my passion for nursing.