Alex Bartosch, BSN, RN, MSN, shares her experience as a recent graduate of the Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program.

At the School of Nursing, our programs and course offerings continue to expand as the ever-changing face of health care evolves. The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) program was created over four years ago to support Duquesne’s mission to care for patients throughout every stage of their life. This year marked the second class to graduate from the program. Alex Bartosch, BSN, RN, MSN was among the nurses who completed the program this year.

From the time Bartosch was young, she was drawn to a career in health care thanks to her mother, who was a nurse. She recalls, “Being raised by a nurse is being raised by a strong, intelligent woman. As I began my education, health care felt like a natural place for me.” Even with the foundational knowledge of nursing from her mother, Bartosch couldn’t imagine the level of knowledge, expertise and dedication nurses required to properly care for their patients. As she looked further into the profession and all it entailed, she knew that nursing was the right field for her.

The search for nursing schools began, and initially, Bartosch chose one of the larger Pittsburgh universities for her first degree. She quickly realized something was missing from her experience. She never felt like an individual or that her professors wanted her to personally succeed. She felt lost in the crowd. When it was time to decide on her institution for an accelerated BSN, the choice was clear. “I chose Duquesne for both my accelerated BSN and masters programs because of their reputation, resources and connection with their students. I chose Duquesne because, from the time of my application, they seemed to want me to succeed. When beginning such a rigorous program, it is so important that students feel supported and that’s exactly what Duquesne did for me.”

As Bartosch’s education continued, she recognized she felt more of a calling towards adult and gerontology patients instead of pediatrics. She explains, “I chose this adult gerontology program for a few reasons. I love caring for the geriatric population; it always felt like a privilege to hear their stories. Secondly, I have always loved critical care and wanted to focus on my clinical rotations on just that rather than the pediatrics and labor and delivery rotations that are part of the family program.”

Duquesne School of Nursing’s goal is to support students entering every area of the nursing industry. With a vast array of program options, the School strives to fulfill the educational needs and interests of students just like Bartosch. Of the program, Bartosch goes on to say, “Being in the second graduating class of the AG-ACNP program brought many challenges with it, but overall, I had an excellent experience. I am proud to be a Duquesne alumnus.”

As a graduate, Bartosch is ready to hit the ground running. “Graduating from Duquesne has prepared me for the challenges that come with being a newly graduated health care provider. At Duquesne, I received a hands-on education where we were able to practice skills and apply them in real-life clinical scenarios. After graduating, I felt prepared not only for the board exam but also for my role as an NP.”

Bartosch’s class ended in having a 100% pass rate on their certification exam. With her educational foundation firmly in place thanks to Duquesne’s dedication to providing students with clinical experiences, Bartosch is looking to the future. “In the next five years, I would like to settle into my role as an NP and hopefully precept students in that role. I would like to give back to the NP community as so many of my preceptors did for me.”

Bartosch is living Duquesne’s mission to give back and provide support to future health care professionals at every stage of their careers. Duquesne’s Preceptor Program is an integral part of a nurse practitioner’s education and the School is always in need of students like Bartosch to pay it forward and take their turn providing clinical, hands-on experience to future NPs.

To the next class entering the program Bartosch advises future students “to be productive in some way every day. Even if it is just something small, like making the outline for a paper or replying on a discussion board, if you complete a small task every day, the course load becomes much more manageable. Also, try your best to connect with your classmates because they will become your family!” In the end, she adds, “I think that going to graduate school to continue your education is a big decision. If you have made that decision to go back to school, half the battle is over. I want to encourage students entering the program to keep going. It’s worth it.”

As the AG-ACNP class of 2023 finds their way as new NPs, Duquesne School of Nursing continues to prepare to serve the next incoming cohort and live the mission to educate nursing professionals to care for patients at every stage of their lives.

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October 26, 2023