Craig Jefferson
Craig Jefferson is a surgical trauma ICU nurse at VCU Health's MCV and first-year RN to BSN student.

Meet Craig.

Richmond native. Dog dad to pit bull Astoria. Former fine arts student and tattoo and body piercing apprentice skilled in medical illustration and anatomical drawing (he was in the Medical Illustration Club at VCU). Loves to travel and learn new languages. Surgical trauma ICU nurse at VCU Health's MCV. First-year RN to BSN student.

"This program is very much tailored to take you further and further to a place where eventually you even have opportunity as a nurse leader to make political and government change, which is not something I could do before I started this program."

Craig Jefferson, RN to BSN Student

WHY NURSING?

Working with needles all the time, he "decided to become a phlebotomist, discovered a love for nursing after becoming a certified nurse's assistant. After becoming an RN several years later, and starting with ICU nursing, I realized it was something I really, really enjoyed and wanted to continue. It's been a real life-preserver for me and my family, and I'm very grateful to nursing and I'm very grateful to this profession. It's probably one of the reasons I have so much passion about it. I really lucked out."

THE RN TO BSN PROGRAM IN A WORD?

"Broadening. From what I've heard from a lot of other people who've done different RN to BSN programs, they don't get much out of it . . . My experience with UVA has consistently been, 'These are things you were completely unaware of that you can do as a bedside nurse.'

"So much of your associate's degree is learning how to pass the NCLEX—which is very relevant and important and not a criticism. It's just a matter of fact. But it means you often don't have the opportunity to understand that evidence-based practice projects aren't there to hurt you, they're opportunities to see something on your unit and make a change. For you to start with your unit in your first semester, and then to transition to public and population health . . . the realization that the patients that I take care of—gunshot wounds, car collisions, substance abuse here in the surgical trauma unit—I'm dealing with the consequences of illnesses but there's a way I can help my community prevent those from even occurring. You just don't ever consider, think, or learn that during your associate's degree.

"This program is very much tailored to take you further and further to a place where eventually you even have opportunity as a nurse leader to make political and government change, which is not something I could do before I started this program."

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