Inspired by their mother to become nurses, a former oncology nurse and current administrator, Jill and Kim Krmpotic live together, study together and work at the same hospital.
"Kim is my best friend," said Jill, 26. "We have our ups and downs as all sisters do, but she's someone I know will always be there. It's really nice to talk to someone about my day who knows exactly what it's like to be in a doctoral program and work full time."
Jill and Kim say their nursing careers were inspired by their mother, a former oncology nurse who earned her master's degree in nursing administration and moved into management.
"I'm even more passionate about nursing because I am sharing this experience, not only with my sister, but my mom," said Kim, 28. "She is really involved in supporting us and always encourages us. She even proofreads our papers."
Kim and Jill were drawn to the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitionerspecialty offered by the UA College of Nursing. They started the DNP online program in August 2012 and expect to graduate next May.
"The UA College of Nursing online experience has given me a sense of empowerment," said Kim. "It's a point of pride being part of a school that has such a great reputation for nursing, and the flexibility of doing it online has been instrumental in allowing me to earn a salary during my studies and accrue as little debt as possible."
"The faculty members know who you are and are interested in getting to know you," added Jill. "It feels like we're all in it together. They want us to succeed as much as we do."
Passionate about the end-of-life experience, Jill plans to pursue palliative care, while Kim, who often works with heart failure patients, is interested in how to keep people out of the hospital and reduce health care costs.
"Nursing is very unique because it's an art and a science mixed together," said Jill. "Being a nurse will test you physically, mentally... any way it can challenge you, it will. It is the hardest and most rewarding thing that you can ever do."
"My advice for new nurses is to never give up," Kim said. "The career can feel so big when you first start. It's really about discovering who you are as a nurse and practicing in a way that makes you proud."
Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information about the college, please visit its website, www.nursing.arizona.edu
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