For registered nurses wishing to accelerate their careers, Capella University recently announced a new online educational degree program that will allow nurses to earn a master’s degree in nursing while simultaneously working toward a bachelor of science degree, in just over three years. This kind of combination nursing program can save time and money for working mothers such as Nurse Referral Liaison and Education Coordinator Karen Fabac, who earned her master of science in nursing with a certificate in health care education through an online nursing program offered at the University of Phoenix while raising a family.

Nurse Referral Liaison & Education Coordinator Karen Fubac (photo courtest of Karen Fubac)

Nurse Referral Liaison & Education Coordinator Karen Fabac (photo courtesy of Karen Fabac)

Nurses are health educators by nature

As a nurse referral liaison, Fabac’s responsibilities include interviewing patients about their health problems so she can refer them to the most appropriate physician based on their particular needs. She believes that nurses are essentially teachers educating patients on their diagnosis, treatment options and the consequences of foregoing the recommended treatment. “My education has helped me understand how to educate others based on their individual learning styles,” says Fabac. “In the health care profession, we need to know and understand individual learning styles to ensure the education we are providing is effective.”

A good nurse never stops learning

Fabac got her start in nursing with an associate’s degree from Vanier College in Montreal, Quebec before immediately going to work in a surgery unit, which she says was exciting but daunting at the same time. She thought she had a lot of nursing knowledge and was eager to put her knowledge to good use. Little did she know how limited her knowledge actually was. If there is one thing Fabac learned while working as an operating room nurse, it’s that being a nurse requires life-long learning. “The skills you learn in a diploma program just prepare you to be a working nurse but don’t really prepare you for the art and science of nursing.”

Keeping up with the health industry

In her current speciality, Fabac saw a need for more educational opportunities for not just nurses but patients as well. This led her to the education side of nursing where she now develops her own curriculums for educating others. Passionate about education, Fabac reads monthly nursing journals and attends national conferences to stay up-to-date on recent research and clinical practice. She is also a member of three different professional organizations for nurses.

In retrospect, Fabac would not be where she is today had it not been for her education. Now she is committed to helping others by passing on her knowledge and wisdom.

Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on


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