alumnus smiling

When adults return to school, they are often forced to choose only one path or field of study. This can prove to be difficult, as they have gained a multitude of experience in numerous areas. Stevenson University Online alumnus, Paul Daugherty is a prime example of an adult student that was faced with this dilemma. We had the opportunity to speak with Paul about his academic and professional journey and how he was able to pursue his interests at Stevenson University Online.  

Within my 11 years of experience in healthcare, split specialties in Cardiac and Psychiatric Nursing, I managed several inpatient units and was involved in healthcare project management. While managing inpatient adult and adolescent crisis stabilization units, I helped to design key health system functions such as the creation of centralized patient transportation and clinical staffing support services. Both transportation and staffing support were complete start-ups that I designed and implemented. Prior to attending Stevenson University Online, I earned my Associate of Science Degree in Nursing.

I chose to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies because the program allowed me to maximize my experience by providing a unique education tract that featured elements of both healthcare and business. My career focus had mostly been based in healthcare, but areas such as staff support are primarily business-oriented. I needed training that focused not only on providing a service, but also on budgetary oversight, gathering and applying usable data, and earning skills to make more fiscally sound staffing decisions. Additionally within the program, there was quite a bit of customization permitted which allowed me to truly explore the courses that were of most benefit to my career.

I was already far along in my current career before returning for my bachelor’s degree. When selecting an academic path, I was left to choose between traditional focuses. The Interdisciplinary Studies program allowed me to combine my passion for nursing with my interest in business, as opposed to having to choose between them. Upon completing the bachelor’s program, I have enjoyed continued success and promotional opportunities in the field based upon the experience I was able to earn while pursuing an Interdisciplinary Studies degree with Stevenson.

Stevenson University Online is unique in its approach and individual student focus. Adult learners will find that the programs are flexible and relatively easy to fit into a busy schedule. Traditional learners will find a large support system and an engaging academic environment. Each student has a Student Success Coach that helps them navigate the registration process and provides advice, encouragement, and support. The instructors are quite responsive and partner with students to help reach academic and professional goals. The Stevenson University Online staff are an amazing bunch of folks who truly seem to enjoy what they do. The professors, mentors, and staff at Stevenson have all made a significant and positive impact on my academic and professional career and I have forged quite a few friendships along the way.

The greatest lessons I have learned throughout my life are humility and compassion. My profession and my chosen University, have taught me far more than facts, applications, and algorithms. They have taught me the utmost importance of character. The greatest piece of advice I can give is simply to get started! As an adult learner, I can identify with the excuses: I am too busy, my kids need me, my job is stressful and hours were long. The truth is, life is never neat and orderly and there is never a perfect time. Therefore, simply do it. Start the process today, not tomorrow. You will thank yourself for it one day, I assure you.

I am currently pursuing my master’s in Business and Technology Management with Stevenson University Online and when I am not working or studying, I enjoy camping, fishing, and hiking. Backyard barbeques with my wife and sons ranks among my all-time favorite activities. My favorite place that I have traveled to within the U.S. is Boston. It is a great town for sports and history. As far as international destinations, I truly enjoyed Rome for its history and cultural structures. Throughout my life, my faith, family, and friends are my inspirations.