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GEM Alumni Profile: Adam Spurlock

Adam Spurlock

Adam Spurlock, DNP, APRN, AGACNP-BC, FNP-C, CNL: Adam graduated from the Direct Entry Master's Entry in Nursing (MSN) for Non-Nurses: Clinical Nurse Leader at Rush in 2010. He then went on to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program and graduated in 2015. Adam also completed a postdoctoral Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificate in 2018.

Adam is currently an Adult-Gero Acute Care and Family Nurse Practitioner in the emergency department at Rush Oak Park Hospital.

What are your thoughts about gaining nursing experience before entering/applying for an advanced practice degree?

Having been employed as a staff RN prior to pursuing my DNP allowed me to gain perspective on what it means to be a nurse and what will be expected of me upon graduation as an acute-care nurse practitioner. Without this experience, knowledge about interdisciplinary practice would remain foreign, in addition to real world patient care.

What were important elements in your GEM program that you believe prepare you to succeed at a high level in an advanced practice program?

I believe the GEM program adequately provided a base of knowledge that allowed me to function appropriately and without fear in my nursing practice. Being I work in a specialized department (emergency medicine), I was grateful for the opportunity to work as a student in an emergency department for my immersion. The way in which we were instructed at Rush CON has taught me how to approach medicine and patient care, in a way critical thinking manner, which will only aid in my future education as an APN.

What are your thoughts about the GEM to DNP structure, that is, a strong generalist master's foundation progressing to a specialty doctoral focus?

During the first three (3) trimesters of the DNP program, my workload was significantly lighter than that of my colleagues, due to having taken some of the current courses in the GEM program. This allowed for a smooth transition back into school to develop an acceptable work /life balance.

Describe your favorite aspect of the GEM program.

My favorite aspect of the GEM program was the interaction with, and accessibility of faculty members. I have never been part of an institution where students are able to stop a faculty member in the halls, or visit them in their offices, and the faculty member stops what they are doing and helps the student through their concerns. I feel that this interaction has allowed me to express myself and my concerns openly, contributing to a greater collegiate experience.