Alumnus Earns Third Bachelors on Way to Nursing Career

October 25, 2018

Before college, Bentley Munsell ’15 knew he wanted a career in the health care field, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do until work experiences he had as an undergraduate – as an EMT, and working on an ambulance and at Southern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) – solidified his decision to become a nurse.

However, opportunities at MCLA to conduct research, and work as a teacher’s assistant and tutor others for multiple science courses paved his road to success: Munsell is a registered nurse in SVMC’s emergency department (ED).

After he completed double majors in biology and psychology at MCLA, Munsell headed to UMASS-Amherst to attend a 17-month, accelerated program to earn his nursing degree. His experiences at MCLA equipped Munsell for success, both in nursing school and as an ED nurse.

“While at MCLA, I had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant, and tutor anatomy and physiology I and II courses, several times. This gave me an in-depth understanding of how the human body works,” Munsell said. “I used this knowledge throughout nursing school in the application of pathophysiology and in the assessment and care of patients I take care of today.”

An active participant in MCLA’s undergraduate research program, Munsell explained, “A big part of nursing education is learning the practice of evidence-based medicine and nursing care, which requires you to be able to read, interpret, and apply content from research articles to care you provide at the bedside.”

As a result, when he arrived at nursing school, he already was an expert at conducting searches for primary source research, reading those articles, and then applying that research.

MCLA’s small class sizes also helped Munsell to develop confidence. “I was better equipped to learn and participate in a lecture hall with 80 of my nursing school classmates when I got to UMASS.”