Alumni Spotlight: Crystal, DNP, “My amazing mentor encouraged me to go back for my Doctorate”

crystal martineau,dnp

Crystal Martineau graduated from Aspen University’s RN-MSN program in March 2018 and then went on to complete her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in October 2023. Crystal’s path through nursing education highlights the value of mentorship and support. Keep reading for Crystal’s story.


I completed my Master of Science in Nursing at Aspen University in 2018 and in addition to working as an Intensive Care Unit nurse, I started working as an adjunct faculty to gain some experience in nursing education. I developed a passion for teaching and mentoring nursing students, because I knew the struggles that I had experienced, and I wanted to help guide other nursing students who may have been going through similar experiences. I remembered the profound impact that my nursing professors had on me while I was in nursing school, and I wanted to have this same impact on other nursing students. As nurse educators, we are sometimes the only support system that the students have; we encourage the students who need it the most, and it is so rewarding to see them grow and be successful.

I continued to work as adjunct faculty for several years and then my amazing mentor, Dr. Nina Beaman, encouraged me to go back for my Doctorate. A little back story, I have known Dr. Beaman since I was attending nursing school for my Associate Degree in Nursing from 2011 to 2013. She was one of my professors and she has continued to support and encourage me to pursue higher education. I never imagined that this would be an attainable goal for me, but in January 2021, I was accepted into Aspen University’s DNP program. I continued to work in the ICU during the pandemic and this was a very challenging time for me. However, I stayed focused and I completed my Doctor of Nursing Practice in October 2023. The sense of accomplishment I felt was so surreal. I remembered where I had first started my nursing journey and the experiences that I had gained that had helped to mold me into the nurse educator that I am. I attended the commencement ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona in October 2023, and I was able to meet several of my peers at graduation. I had never been to Phoenix before, and it was such a beautiful place to explore. It was truly a wonderful experience and I will always cherish this memory.

I began to shift my focus from bedside nursing to nursing education, and in 2024, I accepted a teaching position at an accelerated nursing program at Fortis College. It has always been a dream of mine to be a nurse educator and I feel so honored to be able to give back to the profession that I gained so much knowledge and experience from. Since completing my DNP, I have been focusing on studying for my Nurse Educator certification and I am also planning to attend my first Nurse Educator Conference in the fall. My goal is to start writing a book and to publish a research article in the near future. I plan to be a change agent in improving nursing education and to have an active role in establishing an environment that is student-centered, and a safe space for nursing students to learn.


Crystal is now using her advanced nursing degrees to better nursing education and teach the next generation of nurses! What are your nursing goals? See if an advanced nursing degree is the next step for you by visiting Aspen’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences webpage.


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