Jaclyn Sonenschein started preparing to become a nurse when she was a young child. Crafting casts out of paper and tape, she wanted to help all her imaginary sick toys feel better. These days her patients are children themselves at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH), where she works as a floor nurse and relief charge nurse in the Orthopedic/Trauma unit. After working at the hospital for almost eight years, Jaclyn earned a scholarship with Aspen University for the RN to BSN program as the 2020 recipient through the university’s Nurses Week partnership with PCH.
While achieving her BSN is a personal goal, Jaclyn also wants to set an example for her son that he can do anything he sets his mind on through hard work. Learn more about her journey below.
How did you get your start in nursing?
I always knew I wanted a career in nursing. Through the community college system in Phoenix, I received my ADN and began working at Phoenix Children’s Hospital shortly after graduating. I am looking forward to adding BSN to my name!
Why did you pursue nursing?
I have always felt the need to help others and help care for my community. And I have always loved working with kids, so I knew going into pediatrics was right for me.
What made you decide to go back to school for your BSN?
I have a two-year-old son, and I want to show him that it is never too late to go back to school and finish what you have dreamed of becoming. That you can do anything you set your mind to, no matter how busy life gets. Show him that it’s possible to have a career you love and are passionate about and that working towards a brighter future is always a good idea.
Why did you choose Aspen for your BSN?
I discovered Aspen University at my workplace. Aspen has a partnership with PCH, and I heard their name several times during our hospital celebration for nurses week. They were offering a scholarship during Nurses Week for RNs who wanted to achieve their BSN, and I decided to go for it and enter an application. To my surprise, I won the scholarship during Nurses Week and signed up for classes shortly after!
Did the scholarship opportunity help with your decision to go back?
Absolutely. Going back to school was always something I wanted to do, but finances were always a topic of discussion. I am incredibly grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to further my education with this scholarship.
How has your experience been so far as a BSN student?
I have had a very positive experience. The courses are challenging, but I am able to keep up with the coursework while also having a job and a family. I can relate almost everything that I have learned so far with my current practice as a nurse and have enjoyed each class so far. The instructors have all been very helpful and encouraging.
“My sweet little family inspires me and motivates me to finish school and further my career in nursing.”
What has been the biggest challenge for you since going back to school?
The biggest challenge has been finding my routine. Working at the hospital, having a toddler at home, and finding the time for friends and family was a struggle at first, but it is possible. After the first course, I was able to find a good routine and manage my time to fit everything together. The consistency of each course was extremely helpful with finding this happy balance.
Is there a particular Aspen instructor who has made an impact on you?
What motivates you?
My sweet little family inspires me and motivates me to finish school and further my career in nursing. My other half has always supported me in this decision, and he has been incredibly helpful and encouraging. I also want my son to be able to look up to me and see how hard I work for him. He motivates me to continue, even when it gets hard.
What are your interests outside of school and nursing?
Outside of nursing, my family is currently building our dream home out in the beautiful desert! I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors, and I always love a good brunch spot. I have a passion for perfecting my coffee drinks at home.
Do you have any goals after finishing the BSN program?
My post-graduation goals are to continue my nursing career at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and explore what other opportunities are presented to me by furthering my education even more.
What advice would you give to other nurses who are considering getting their BSN?
Stop thinking about it and just do it! Time flies when you work week to week through this program, and each course is relatable and relevant.