Ines Kaplan didn’t always dream about becoming a nurse, but now she helps patients and students every day as a nurse practitioner and clinical instructor at West Coast University–Los Angeles.
“When I first came to this country, I never thought I would go into the medical field, but now I am taking care of patient’s well-being every day,” Kaplan shares. “It is incredibly satisfying when I’m trying to teach students a better way of doing things and they say thank you.”
Kaplan first became a nurse in 2007, and shortly thereafter, began working for the Veteran’s Affairs Office where she saw nurse practitioners in action.
“I saw how they treated patients and I thought that was a completely different responsibility than being a nurse,” Kaplan said. “Similar to being a physician, you are the one responsible for the patient’s well-being by assessing patients and ordering medication.”
Kaplan was working as a clinical instructor at WCU-Los Angeles and enrolled in their online Post-Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate program in 2013.
“I chose West Coast because I didn’t have a waiting period and after two and a half years of my master’s I didn’t want to wait much longer to become a nurse practitioner,” Kaplan said. “It was a shorter program than everywhere else, and it was online, which worked with my schedule.”
Kaplan maintained working part-time through the program and graduated in June 2015.
“As a nurse practitioner I have more knowledge which really helps with my teaching,” Kaplan added.
In addition to working in the emergency department at Centinela Hospital Medical Center, Kaplan continues her work at WCU-LA as a nursing clinical instructor and teaches skills lab courses, where students obtain hands-on experience under the guidance of an instructor.
“My advice to students is to not wonder ‘Why are they teaching me this?’ My instructors tried to explain different diagnoses during my education and I found that there is a reason for that. I use that every day in the hospital.” Kaplan goes on to add, “There is a reason we are teaching you something and every minute is important, so keep studying.”