Ralph D. Cabigon came across Saint Xavier University’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program one day during an internet search. Though it happened serendipitously, he liked what he saw. He requested more information, and it did not take long after speaking with an advisor to realize this was the right path for him. “I felt trust, conviction, sincerity and integrity in how the program and its platform was presented,” he says. “Most importantly, I felt a strong sense of connection with the vision, core values, culture and reputation of the university.” The values aligned with Cabigon’s own, and he felt the program would help him pursue his goal to have a larger role in positively influencing patient care.
Another lure of Saint Xavier’s MSN program was its online format, which can be even more effective than traditional on-campus courses.1 The convenience and flexibility allowed Cabigon to integrate the program into his life without giving anything up. He balanced coursework with his job and home life and found time to travel and continue his favorite form of exercise—dancing—through it all.
The Clinical Leadership Track
Saint Xavier University offers two online MSN tracks: Executive Leadership, which prepares future nursing department leaders, and Clinical Leadership, which is designed for nurses who want to continue working directly with patients. Cabigon knew he wanted to pursue the latter, and he was drawn to the program’s combination of theoretical and clinical platforms.
Cabigon credits Saint Xavier’s MSN faculty as the main reason why the program is one of the top-ranked online graduate nursing programs in the country.2 “The faculty members were all gifted, committed to excellence and rightfully experts in their fields of practice,” Cabigon says. “Communication was open and interactive. They provided insights and feedback that were useful, positive and constructive.”
From Education to Action
All of the time spent taking classes through the online learning platform, which Cabigon found to be user friendly and easy to navigate, culminated in four practicum courses, totaling 450 hours. Cabigon focused his practicum on hospital-acquired heel pressure ulcers among people with spinal cord injury. “The goal was to achieve and sustain zero percent incidence through nurse-led preventive initiatives,” he says. That goal was achieved for eight consecutive months thanks to Cabigon’s rigorous methodology, which included in-service education, survey development, bedside interviews, unannounced bedside observation and data collection and analysis.
The practicum gave Cabigon the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills he learned through the program to the real world. “I ‘walked the talk’ like a CNL,” Cabigon recalls. “It was, by far, the highlight of all of my experiences. It was a milestone achieved from will, hard work, dedication and perseverance.”
Milestones continued to accumulate for Cabigon. After graduation, he presented the end-of-program competency project as a poster at a CNL conference, passed the board certification and added the CNL credential from the Commision on Nurse Certification, and added the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from Saint Xavier UniversityNursing to his job title. The program also advanced his skills as an educator, which he now applies as an adjunct faculty member for nursing students.
“The journey that I truly appreciated from ‘genesis to exodus’ was a humbling experience, and the best thing that ever happened to me,” Cabigon says.
Ralph D. Cabigon, MSN, RN, CNL, CRRN, CMSRN, is a clinical nurse leader at an acute inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation unit and an adjunct faculty member at a Chicago university. He completed his Master of Science in Nursing at Saint Xavier University. Follow his lead and broaden your impact by requesting more information or calling Admissions at 866-319-8966.