Nurse Educator Profile – Linda Sperling, MSN, MHA, RN
Associate in nursing from St. Petersburg, Florida, 2001
Bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Phoenix, 2005
Master’s in nursing from the University of Phoenix, 2008
Master’s in healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix, 2008
Doctorate in healthcare administration from University of Phoenix, expected July 2013
Linda Sperling was 40 with five grown children when she earned her high school diploma and started her career. She went to school to become an Emergency Medical Technician, but after working for a little bit, she knew she wanted to do more, so she became a paramedic. After working for a few years as a paramedic, she still wanted more, so she went to school to become a nurse. Nursing stuck, but she hasn’t stopped advancing. She’s earned her master’s in both nursing and healthcare administration while also moving to the other side of education, helping develop continuing education classes for medical professionals and teaching in RN programs. Currently, Sperling is the Campus Nursing Director at Everest College, Anaheim. She is also continuing her education to the ultimate level, working on her doctorate in healthcare administration.
Question: Why did you continue to pursue advanced degrees in the field? How has that benefited you in your career?
Sperling: “I love education. Some say I am a professional student. I say it’s my love for education and my desire to be all that I can be. From starting a family and never even graduating high school, to succeeding in getting my doctorate, this is my greatest accomplishment. With each degree that I have earned, doors have opened with opportunities. With my master’s in nursing, the door to teaching became a reality and my doctorate in healthcare administration fits right in with what I do today!”
Question: What education, credentials, and experience did you need that helped you enter the field? And what types of continuing education do you do to maintain your skills and professionalism?
Sperling: “All of my previously mentioned credentials and experience have helped me continue my growth in both nursing and education. I continue to take the same continuing medical education classes that all nurses take to maintain my license, and to continue to stay abreast of what is rapidly changing in the world of healthcare. I belong to the American Nurses Association, continue to read medical journals, and follow the Center for Disease Control, as well as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for best practices.”
Question: What do you enjoy about your work? What challenges, developments or successes keep it exciting to you?
Sperling: “I love the students. The most rewarding part of the job as an instructor is taking a brand new student and watching them go through all the challenges of nursing school to graduation, learning about the new job they got, and then watching them continue to grow in their career. As the director of the program, I want to continue to know the students and help them in any way that I can. I want to encourage them to grow and continue their education as well.”
Question: What advice do you have for people just starting their education or their professional career who are considering going into nursing and want to advance?
Sperling: “Nursing is a profession that will always be important. There is no greater satisfaction than helping another person. Continuing your education will open doors and provide opportunities that you never would have thought possible. It is a way to fulfill the need that is innate in every nurse — the need to help others.”