Freshman puts herself on fast track to nursing career

Nursing 1-2-1 student strives to reach her goal of helping children sooner

By Mount Mary University

Posted on April 10, 2019

Share on social media


Yesenia Mata has wanted to be a nurse ever since she experienced for herself the positive effect a good nurse can have on their patients.

“Just seeing how much of an impact a nurse can have on a child’s emotions in a setting that isn’t desirable makes me see how much of an impact I could have,” said Mata, who went through a series of surgeries as a child.

Her goal is to enter the field as a neonatal or pediatric nurse. Mata is one of 47 students currently enrolled in Mount Mary’s Nursing 1-2-1 program. This joint degree program between Mount Mary and local technical colleges addresses the growing need for BSN nurses.

The Nursing 1-2-1 Partnership began last spring and is offered through the combined expertise and resources of Mount Mary University and Milwaukee Area Technical College and Waukesha County Technical College.

Students enroll in the Nursing 1-2-1 to obtain an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) licensure as a Registered Nurse, then seamlessly complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN), all within four years. This program was created in response to local and national needs. The Wisconsin Center for Nursing Research estimates that Wisconsin will be facing a shortage of 20,000 nurses by 2035. Nationwide, there are about three million nurses, but the American Nurses Association contends the country will need to produce more than one million new registered nurses by 2022 to meet health-care needs.

Mata, who grew up in Bay View, Wis., is currently in her second semester at Mount Mary and next fall will transition to MATC for the next two years, all the while maintaining her status as a Mount Mary student. She said the structure of the program and the guidance of the faculty have eliminated her anxiety about moving through this ambitious program.

“I know a lot of nurses who have been in the field for many years and are just now going for their BSN,” Mata said. “Getting it done right away will put me ahead of the game.”

She is grateful for her advisors, who have helped her stay focused, particularly Kara Groom, her advisor and Chief Nurse Administrator at Mount Mary.

“Kara has made sure that we’re working through the required courses,” Mata said. “She’s been very comforting and recognizes that I work very hard.”

In addition to her coursework, Yesenia has also volunteered in nursing homes to get a taste for caregiving. Although it’s not the same as working with children, she believes her time was well spent.

“I’m able to see how my job as a caregiver is useful in different settings,” she said.

In all, Mata is proud of her accomplishments as a pioneer in this fast-paced, innovative program.

“I hope it puts me one step ahead and really makes me stand out,” Mata said. “It gives me that step ahead that I usually like to have.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *