Welcome to Baker College’s Spotlight feature, a series of brief interviews with notable BC students, faculty and alumni who are making news and reaching new heights in their educational and professional pursuits.
This edition of Spotlight features Angela Collins, RN, CHPN, MBA, who earned her MBA with an emphasis in Health Care Administration, from Baker College in 2008. Collins was recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas. Here we learn more about Angela and her professional path and passions.
Baker College (BC): We’re happy to be connecting with you today, Angela. Can you start off by sharing with us why you chose Baker College for your educational pursuits?
Angela Collins (AC): Baker College met my needs perfectly as a working professional. At the time, I was working as a Director of Nursing, married and mother of two young daughters. Baker College gave me the flexibility to complete my MBA online while maintaining all my other competing priorities.
BC: And you’ve certainly been hard at work ever since completing that degree. Let’s learn more about your career since your days with Baker. What is your current job title/professional role?
AC: I’m the Chief Operating Officer of Nathan Adelson Hospice, the oldest, largest and only nonprofit hospice in Southern Nevada.
BC: We understand you have 20 years of experience in palliative and hospice care. What do you like best about your job/career path? What do you find most challenging?
AC: I started as an RN in 1998. The first 10 years of my nursing career, I cared for patients at the bedside. I loved what I was doing, but also wanted to expand my horizons. In 2006, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Business with an emphasis in Health Care Administration, to prepare myself for further growth in my professional development and leadership.
As I finished my MBA, I had the chance to become a Director of Nursing in the hospice and palliative care field. I quickly fell in love with it. Hospice and palliative care are misunderstood and feared by so many people. Yet, it is a critical and compassionate component that is so vital at the most vulnerable time of life. I find it to be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects of health care. I have the honor and the ability to help people in their last months, assist their families and enhance care in my community.
BC: Your love for your work is clear, and undoubtedly plays a role in your continued success. You were recently appointed to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization’s Quality and Standards Committee. Tell us more.
AC: Annually, the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) offers the opportunity for hospice professionals to join a committee, and I was fortunate enough to be selected. It is an honor to volunteer my time for the NHPCO Quality and Standards Committee. The Committee is responsible for promoting quality hospice and community-based palliative care through NHPCO programmatic initiatives.
In addition to NHPCO, I am a member of the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI). The NPHI is a collaborative of not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers from across the county. We play a unique role as a crucial safety net for the sickest, most vulnerable patients in the communities we serve. The work of NPHI aligns so perfectly with Nathan Adelson Hospice’s mission of excellence and our vision, that no one ends the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain.
BC: You seem to be a natural fit for your profession. What first inspired/drove you to pursue a career in the nursing field?
AC: I knew in 8th grade after taking my first Basic Life Support and First Aid class that I wanted to be a nurse. I became a Certified Nursing Assistant at the age of 16, and never looked back. Helping people is in my nature!
BC: We’re certain your 16-year-old self would be very impressed with how far your passion has carried you! In addition to that passion, how do you feel your time at/degree from Baker College has contributed to your career successes to-date?
AC: Baker College’s MBA program prepared me to move forward in my career as a professional. Baker College helped me to get to where I am today. I couldn’t be happier or more thankful to be at a place like Nathan Adelson Hospice, which encourages the kind of innovative thinking and skills I learned at Baker.
BC: What best piece of advice would you share with current college students?
AC: Now that I have one daughter in college and another heading there this fall, I appreciate this question more than ever! Never stop learning, always seek to understand and learn. Don’t give up. Some days will be difficult and overwhelming. Take it one step at a time, one assignment or project at a time.
BC: Awesome advice from a parent and COO! One last question please…what would you want others to know about Baker College?
AC: Baker College was a great fit for my needs. I encourage anyone, be it a traditional student or someone like me, who went back years later, to recognize that Baker College will have an option for you.
And thank you for the opportunity to share my story and support.