May 2009, Volume 13, Number 5


BSN program’s first graduates

Alina María Atienza-Lago, a nurse with close to two decades of professional experience, will be one of the first 40 graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at MDC’s Medical Center Campus.

“I have enjoyed my time at MDC,” said Atienza-Lago, who also attended MDC for her A.S. and A.A. “I liked the consistency of the program, so it was easy to schedule my life and work.”

As the College’s third baccalaureate program, the BSN curriculum was MDC’s response to a national nursing shortage that is expected to grow to 20 million by 2020, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

The BSN program provides an affordable education through the Virtual College or in-classroom instruction. Like Atienza-Lago, those who enter the program are credentialed nursing professionals. The BSN allows them to apply for managerial positions.

Atienza-Lago is a certified pediatric nurse at Baptist Children’s Hospital. She will pursue her master’s in nursing education through the University of North Dakota’s online program.

Her career path was inspired by the loss of her younger sister, tragically killed by a drunk driver, and her son’s autism diagnosis. These experiences also influence her volunteer activities with Special Olympics, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Autism Speaks.

“What I love the most about nursing is that no two days are ever the same,” said Atienza-Lago. “When you love what you do, it shows and it spreads to others.”

— Elizabeth Tracy

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