Larson graduated from USD with her A.S.N. in nursing in 2004. She earned her B.S.N. from SDSU and M.S.N. from Western Governor's University, but she chose to return to USD for her DNP and anticipates graduating in Aug. 2023. Larson taught for USD - Sioux Falls as a nursing instructor from 2016 - 2021 before joining NurseTim.

Larson wanted to add the challenge of earning her DNP to her already busy schedule because of her desire for personal growth and to be an example for her family as her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

“It's more about personal growth than professional growth,” Larson said. “The DNP degree will potentially open up doors for me professionally, but after my husband was diagnosed with cancer six months ago, I chose to continue to work toward my DNP  to prove to myself and my children that even in all of the chaos of life, we can do really hard things.”

One of the reasons Larson chose USD's DNP program was the flexibility offered to her as she juggles her career and family.

”The nice thing about USD's DNP program is I can choose the rate I take the classes, and it allows me to build a structured schedule so I can maintain the balance in my life to do everything I have to do,” Larson said.

In addition to the flexible class structure, Larson felt like the program spoke to her personal values.

“The DNP's content areas align with my own personal values and goals,” Larson said. “I have always been a non-traditional student, but USD has always been supportive and provided the guidance and structure that I need.”

Larson credits her wealth of knowledge to her original USD nursing professors she had and still talks to today.

“They challenged me in different ways, but also encouraged me to look at where I could go with nursing, which was completely different than what I had come into the nursing program thinking I was going to be doing," Larson said.

Larson aims to use her knowledge to educate others via Instagram and Facebook as a health and fitness advocate with the handle

“I have a social media presence that I use on a daily basis,” Larson said. “I have found that one of the ways I can continue educating is through posting. I bring my nursing education and knowledge base into what I post. My hope is that those that follow me on social media see what I'm putting out there and take bits and pieces of that to create healthier lifestyles.”

As a nurse educator for NurseTim, Larson travels to different states to present at conferences and workshops and promote university programs. 

Larson believes the future of nursing is right now and encourages those interested in the field to jump into programs. 

“There’s never a better time than now,” Larson said. “Going to school to be a nurse is one of the hardest things you'll ever do. I don't think there's an easy fix for the bumpy parts but it is one of the most rewarding careers and it's worth it.

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