Ashley Singley, MS, RN-BC

Instructor of Clinical Nursing, School of Nursing
Med-Surg Flex Team, Strong Memorial Hospital
Graduate, Master's of Nursing Education program and APNN program

Ashley Singley

Ashley Singley, MS, RN-BC, began her nursing journey after graduating from the Accelerated Bachelor's Program for Non-Nurses (APNN) at the School of Nursing in 2017. She's worked in acute care and now works for the med-surg team at the University of Rochester.

Why did you decide to pursue the Master's in Nursing Education program?

The desire to teach came when nine months into my nursing career my nurse manager gave me a capstone student from the APNN program and I absolutely fell in love with teaching. I loved working one on one with the student and instilling confidence in them. And I also found that I had a lot patience working with students. At that point, I realized the only thing I was more passionate about than nursing was being a nurse educator.

I knew I wanted to go back to the School of Nursing. I didn’t know they had an education program. Another colleague of mine had told me about it and at that point I reached out the director of the MNE program, Maria Marconi, and I had meeting one-on-one with her, and as soon as I talked with her, I knew that it was the perfect fit for me.

"I realized the only thing I was more passionate about than nursing was being a nurse educator."

How did the SON Tuition Grant impact your decision?

The SON Tuition Grant has helped me tremendously. I mean, I feel like I would have had to pick up a lot of overtime if I didn’t have the Tuition Grant. I also just feel like it helped me get to where I wanted to be a lot faster because I didn’t have to worry about any financial hardships when I was doing the program.  

What's your experience been like in the program?

I was little worried to go back to school very early on in my nursing career. I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to have enough experience maybe as a nurse to go into this world of being a teacher. But I found being in the program actually gave me a lot of confidence as a teacher. Sofor me, it was a little bit of a concern at first but as soon as I got into the program – it started to make me more confident.

How have you been able to balance work and this program?

I would say my work-life balance during the program, for me it was not an issue. I could still work my full-time 36 hours as a bedside nurse and I completed program part-time and for me that was very manageable. The school was always pretty flexible with me and along with the hospital was always pretty flexible with my schedule as well. It was never an issue for me to kind of balance my life at home, at school, and at work.

The only struggle I had was COVID started in the middle of my program so we had to transition to everything online and Zoom. However, I feel like the faculty, especially in the education program, stepped up to the plate to make that experience just as wonderful as if it would have been in person.

My nurse manager was also always extremely supportive. So anytime I needed to leave early to go to class or I need a day off to do a presentation I feel like they always supported that when it came to my school.

What are your career goals?

I’m at the School of Nursing as a clinical instructor. I love what I do. There’s nothing else in the world that I’d rather do. I think it’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. My plan is to stay here as long as they’ll have me. And someday I hope to go back to school and get a degree maybe my doctorate possibly. 

How has the Tuition Grant supported your goals as a nurse?

I never had to think about money during this program so it was incredible, didn’t have to take out any loans, its just crazy to me that I have a master’s degree that I didn’t pay for. The only thing I spent money on was books.

Any advice for other nurses considering going back to school at the School of Nursing?

My advice is to – I’ve already given this advice to a lot of people across the street – is to talk to the directors of the programs and to reach out to the school and to the Admissions Office. I think this program is absolutely worth it. I’m glad I didn’t hesitate to start. I kind of jumped right in and it was perfect for me.