Accelerate Your Nursing Career

Jun 24, 2022

How BSN grad and MSN candidate Jose Mendieta jumpstarted his career with Barry’s Accelerated Option nursing program . . . and why it was his best decision yet.

Jose Mendieta never wants to stop learning. Luckily, his chosen profession suits his mindset. As a registered nurse in a neurosurgical ICU—and one who weathered the worst pandemic of the past century—he knows how quickly the medical field evolves, how flexible he must be to meet the ever-shifting needs of his patients. And yet, he remains in pursuit of his own growth, both personally and professionally.

Upon graduating from Lewis University, Mendieta began a career in banking. True to his nature, he explored the many facets of what he believed would become his lifelong vocation. While he enjoyed helping his clients with their financial and retirement planning, he recognized that banking would not become the fulfilling career he had imagined. “I felt like I could do something greater that would have a positive impact on people’s lives,” he says. “Nursing seemed like a perfect fit.”

In 2018, Mendieta left the banking field and relocated to Miami, where he began completing the pre-requisite courses for admission to Barry’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Knowing he wanted to pursue his degree in South Florida, he had been drawn to Barry for its small-school feel and big-school infrastructure and resources, along with the excellent student success rate and competitive, flat-rate pricing. He was further impressed when he realized that, having already attained a bachelor’s degree, he qualified for the fast-paced Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Accelerated Option (AO), a four-semester, fifteen-month track that would, as it turned out, prepare him to begin practicing just as Covid-19 took hold and began to overwhelm hospitals and medical personnel around the country.

One might call Mendieta’s entrance into the nursing field amid a global pandemic a kind of baptism by fire.

Mendieta maintains his upbeat outlook by focusing on the brighter moments. “The best part of this job is when you are able to have that positive impact on someone’s life, when you see someone get better, improve, go home, and be with their family members. You see those things more often than you see  the bad side of things.” He also credits Barry’s Accelerated Nursing program for preparing him to rise to the unique challenges of the past two years. “The BSN AO program is very, very challenging and very demanding,” he says. “I’m never going to forget my first semester as an AO. Every week I had two challenging exams out of my five classes. That teaches you a lot of organization and planning.”

For Mendieta, his desire to increase his knowledge and skillset has inspired him to advance his career even further. “I want to continue to learn and grow professionally,” Mendieta says. “I think that’ll always be my life goal, and I don’t plan on ever stopping that.” Recently, he has opted to return to Barry to pursue his master’s degree, which will prepare him for the position of acute-care nurse practitioner. “I didn't even apply to another program,” he says. “I truly am an advocate for Barry, because I went through the BSN program myself and I got a great education, which made me a great nurse.” 

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