Technological advancements are happening across every industry, changing the way we learn, the way we shop, and even the way we seek healthcare.
Nurse practitioner Marcus Montet knew he wanted to go beyond the standard clinical or hospital practice. He joined the staff at Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) in May 2011 because of the innovations, cutting edge medicine, and technology embraced by the practice.
“I wanted to be more involved in the technology, more involved in the management operations, as well as the cutting edge of medicine,” Montet says.
In August that year, Montet began his first semester in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Master of Science in Nursing online program. A few months later, he and his wife, Mindy, welcomed twins.
It was a busy year, but that’s right up Montet’s alley.
After graduating from UL Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Montet and his wife, also a nursing graduate, worked in Houston for a year before traveling to Alaska with American Nursing Services.
“We always knew that we’d be coming back to Lafayette to make a home and have kids,” Montet says.
When he decided to pursue his master’s degree online in Louisiana, Montet deployed the same logic he’d used to choose his undergraduate program.
“The (UL Lafayette) nursing program was and still is one of the top programs in the country; there was no there reason to go anywhere else for my education,” he says. “I knew the people, I knew the culture, I knew the surroundings. It just made sense.”
The Abbeville native says the flexibility of online coursework was also appealing.
“I didn’t have to be at a certain place at a certain time; I could do it from wherever I was. Also, it allowed me to continue to provide for my family,” he says. “It was a huge opportunity for me to remain in school, work, and still be close to family.”
Montet admits balancing everything was a struggle and credits his wife with helping him make it through the program.
“Some days were easier, some weeks were easier, some were not easy at all,” says Montet. “My wife was able to manage the house, and I was able to focus on work and school. She gave me the opportunity to be able to do that.”
Since then, the couple has welcomed their third child, and Montet has continued to grow at CIS.
“Not only am I working in the hospital, but I’m working in what we call a virtual care center where we’re providing patient care 24 hours a day through telemedicine, through a state-of-the-art facility,” he says.
On any given day, Montet might provide care for patients from as far as Galliano through telemedicine consults in seven different hospitals, perform smoking cessation clinics using virtual technology, field patient calls or physically conduct hospital rounds.
He’s also clinical manager over 22 nurses and nine telemetry technicians.
During his eight years with the CIS, Montet has specialized his skills in the chronic cardiovascular conditions the practice encounters as well as remote care.
“A patient may be seeing us for the first time through virtual technology,” he says, “to break the ice and to make the patient feel comfortable is more of a challenge and more of a unique skill than if I was seeing a patient directly in a hospital or clinic.”
Montet says UL Lafayette gave him the confidence and know-how to adapt and succeed from the outset of his career.
He’s maintained his relationship with the University and will serve as a preceptor for students enrolled in the online Graduate Certificate in Cardiovascular Nursing, which launched this Spring. The program culminates with a course exploring telemedicine and use of cutting-edge technologies to monitor and facilitate patient care.
Advanced practice nurses have the opportunity to earn specialized credentials and, as Montet says, separate themselves from the pack while working.
“Why wouldn’t a cardiologist hire a family nurse practitioner who has a post-graduate certificate in cardiology versus a family nurse practitioner?” he says.
He said he’s also hopeful the program will ease the transition from primary care to intensive, but rewarding, specialized care.
Our online graduate nursing programs don't require the GRE. Apply by May 1 to enroll for Fall.