Elliot Myers had a simple career goal: help people. That desire coupled with motivation and dedication to education put the University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate on a path to earn his Bachelor of Science in Nursing, then his Master of Science in Nursing, and, now, a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Elliot, 36, grew up in Palmetto, La., watching his mother, Ginger Myers, care for patients in rural St. Landry Parish as an LPN.
She and Elliot's father, Keith Myers, co-founded LHC Group, a post-acute healthcare company providing home health, hospice, personal care, and facility-based services.
With the family’s 20-year history in the healthcare industry and commitment to Louisiana, Elliot’s decision to attend UL Lafayette in pursuit of a bachelor of science in nursing degree was a natural new volume in that legacy.
“I’ve always been intrigued with the medical field,” he says. “The thought of helping others in a time of need, at some of their hardest moments in life, has always been an intrigue of mine and to see the rewards of helping others is what brought me into nursing.”
When he completed his BSN from UL Lafayette in 2005, Elliot began his work as an RN at Lafayette General. After a little more than a year, Elliot moved into home health as a director while continuing to provide patient care. Then he decided he wanted to take his career further.
He soon discovered UL Lafayette’s Master of Science in Nursing degree program, which offers nurses flexible course schedules through its online delivery.
“UL’s been home to me,” he says, “so after researching and looking at different colleges, the online option was absolutely intriguing to me; it’s a big difference from similar programs. That was the deciding factor for me.”
Like most, Elliot’s entire higher education learning experience had been on-campus, so he wasn’t sure what to expect as he prepared to begin the online MSN program in 2011.
But he found supportive professors, engaging peers, and the ability to continue working to support his family — wife Lainie and their now-11-year-old son — while advancing his education and career.
“The autonomy with distance learning was so appealing to me; going at my own pace was great,” he says. “It allowed me the flexibility to work and still support my family. It allowed me to learn at my leisure and what time was best for me. The balance of family and still furthering my education was wonderful.”
Since graduating from UL Lafayette with his master’s in 2013 and becoming a nurse practitioner, Elliot has opened two family practice clinics. He currently practices in Washington, La., serving some of the same populations his mother did more than 20 years ago.
“I enjoy taking care of people,” he says. “In family practice, I see all ages of life and am able to take care of their medical needs. I enjoy seeing the rewards of keeping people healthy.”
He is now pursuing his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree online through UL Lafayette to, he says, “practice at the highest degree I can and give my patients confidence that I’ve attained a level of education adequate for care.”
Elliot says he wouldn’t have been able to continue moving forward without UL Lafayette’s online option, which has allowed him to advance his career and education, as well as connect with a network of peers.
“Where I’m at today, I couldn’t have done without the path I took with the online option,” he says. “I had great interaction with my classmates, and with my professors. ... It’s one of the reasons I went back, because of that online option of how easy it is to be with classmates and work with professors. I still have a lot of friends from these online courses that I see and talk to every week.”
Find out how you can pursue your RN-to-BSN, MSN, or DNP online at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
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