Merritt Taylor, Ph.D. Grand Valley Admissions

Jeff Bird

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Previous Education:
B.S. in Health Science with an emphasis in Exercise Science, Grand Valley State University; B.S. in Nursing, Grand Valley State University; United States Marine Corps Veteran

Allendale, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer:
Staff Nurse, Spectrum Health Cardiac Care Unit, Grand Rapids

Why did you choose to attend Grand Valley?
I chose to go to the grad program here because of the experience I had as an undergrad, specifically the quality of instructors and the smaller class sizes.

What do you like best about Grand Valley?
I like that it is big enough that you get a variety of students, but it is small enough that it is more of an intimate setting with smaller class sizes. In grad school I only have 10 people in my cohort; we go through the whole program together. That's much better than if it were 50 or 60 people. This way you get more one-on-one with the instructors.

Have you been able to incorporate your graduate studies into your job? How?
Yes. Everything we do in grad school is not only a foundation for us in the future as advanced practice nurses, but it is applicable today for what we do as nurses now. Almost everything we learn in grad school we can apply immediately.

How will Grand Valley help you meet your future goals?
My goal is to be an advanced practice nurse. Our grad program has recently went over to the D.N.P., which not only will make me prepared to be a nurse, but as I will be graduating at the doctoral level, this opens more doors. I can come back to teach, do research, and a lot more things if I chose to do so.

How has Grand Valley's faculty made a difference in your graduate experience?
My experience with faculty here goes way back. I work with some of the same faculty from my second undergrad program, so I had a high expectation coming in based on what I already knew. They have met that expectation. Also, in the grad program it is a bit more personal than in undergrad, and faculty really take the time and want you to succeed; there's a lot of one-on-one conversation. You can ask any question and not feel inhibited by asking it. They will take the time and coach you through the process. They really want you to succeed. They believe you are going to succeed.

What advice would you give to prospective graduate students?
If advanced practice nursing is their goal, they would be hard-pressed to find another institution that really encompasses everything that is meant to be in the doctoral nursing program, and also prepares you for not only the future, but your practice as a nurse now.

Admissions Office • 1 Campus Drive • Allendale MI 49401-9403
Phone (616) 331-2025 • 1-800-748-0246 •