Laura Bardowski, RN, MSN, CIC
Ever since I started working in infection prevention, I knew that I wanted to get a master’s degree. I had been considering an MPH, because that degree aligns nicely with traditional skills needed for infection prevention. However, I had a discussion with a nationally known nurse leader in infection prevention at the 2007 APIC national conference and she encouraged me to work toward an MSN. This was the same conference where I stopped by the Loyola University Chicago booth to learn more about their graduate programs. Discovering that I could get my MSN with a focus on infection prevention, I knew Loyola was the right choice. I have never regretted my decision.
The Loyola faculty were, and continue to be, an encouraging and supportive influence on my career. While I had experience in infection prevention content when I first started the MSN, I gained the confidence and leadership skills needed to be a successful IP in this ever-changing discipline. I now think more globally in order to exert system-wide, organizational change. The day I graduated from Loyola, I felt like a nurse Leader – it’s difficult to put into words how the program changed my perspective other than “I just felt different.”
I am now an Infection Preventionist at Rush University Medical Center where my leadership skills in implementing evidence-based practice make a difference every day in patient safety and infection prevention.