Cumberland University


Millicent Johnson: Realizing Her Dreams Online


For Millicent Johnson, Cumberland University’s Online Studies provided a pathway to a dream. A Charge RN at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Johnson balanced work, family, and classes for years as she strove to find the right program to allow her to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

In 2011, Johnson found that program at Cumberland University. Enrolling in Cumberland’s Online RN-BSN program, the adult student was able to realize her dream as she graduated in August 2012.

“I have been trying to obtain my BSN since 2002, and here it is,” Johnson said. “Cumberland enabled me to do that.”

Johnson first approached Cumberland’s RN-BSN program after hearing of its fully online curriculum designed specifically for working nurses. An experienced nursing professional, Johnson began her career as an LPN in the early 1980s, later earning an associate’s degree in nursing in 1993. Since that time, Johnson has worked her way up, serving in a variety of nursing positions before becoming a Charge RN at Vanderbilt.

In 2002, Johnson decided to begin seriously pursuing a BSN degree to advance further in her career. Having spent so many years as a nurse, Johnson didn’t lack the experience or the drive necessary to earn her degree.

What she lacked was the time.

“As a working adult RN who is also a mother of four children, there was no way I could go to the traditional classroom setting and complete a program,” Johnson said. “I started other online programs, but because they weren’t completely online, I had to leave them because I couldn’t complete my classroom hours.”

Unlike those programs, Cumberland’s RN-BSN program offered Johnson fully online courses that she could take completely from her home in La Vergne or from her workplace after shifts in Nashville.

“As long as I had internet access, I could complete my coursework,” Johnson said.

That flexibility allowed Johnson to thrive in Cumberland’s program, which she began in August 2011. Learning on her laptop, Johnson was able to balance her classes with 12-hour work shifts and family commitments.

Studying from home, the adult student was impressed not only by the coursework’s professional applicability, but also by the accessible, caring instructors that she learned from.

“The program involved material that I could use in my everyday practice and life,” Johnson said. “The information is geared to the adult RN with experience, and the instructors really work with the adult student. I’ve never had such respect and understanding from professors in all the nursing programs I’ve been through.”

Now a Cumberland alumna, Johnson is putting her education to use not only as a working nurse, but as a potential future nurse instructor. Inspired by her experience in the RN-BSN program, Johnson now hopes to pursue a graduate degree and become a clinical educator.

Having realized one dream through Cumberland University’s Online Studies, Johnson is now pursuing another.