Many students finish their 4 years at college and have not even begun to think about whether they want to attend grad school or where they will apply. However, for Colton Hafeman, this was all a part of his larger plan.
Colton received his BSN from UP (Class of 2017) and upon graduation, had already applied for the UP Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. This rigorous three-year program prepares students to become family nurse practitioners (FNP), all while these graduate students are working full-time jobs at the same time.
Colton is currently in his second year of the DNP program and is also working full-time at Providence St. Vincent. He says this is a hard balance, but that utilizing support and the amazing faculty has played a vital role in his success here at UP. He also says that learning to advocate for yourself and manage your time wisely is one of the main ways to succeed in this intense program.
In fact, Colton said the faculty are one of the main reasons he chose to come back to UP. He also said that he feels as though the reputation and competitiveness of UP’s nursing program is a well-known fact, giving Pilot nurses that extra advantage. He added that “[when applying for jobs] they know you are very well prepared and take that into account when considering applications.”
Growing up in Scappoose, OR, Colton knew early that he wanted to attend a highly-regarded university which would could grant him the opportunity to study abroad. His ultimate goal is to one day open a practice in a rural, underserved area near Missoula, Montana, as his most cherished childhood memories come from his summers in Yellowstone National Park. Also, his love for the outdoors play a huge part in his desire for this location. He has known for quite a while that he wanted to eventually open a practice, thus, a major reason for wanting to continue his education past his BSN.
Colton’s biggest advice to students and nurses who are considering pursuing the DNP program is to “stick with it and work hard. Know that even in the most difficult moment you will get through it.”