Soccer is still fresh on the minds of fans in the aftermath of the World Cup, but it’s always close to Jordan Knickerbocker’s heart.
For 20 years, Knickerbocker played soccer in her Highlands Ranch neighborhood, through her time in college, and into adulthood. However, she hung up her cleats to focus on her career.
“I rolled my ankles too many times to count, and I had several surgeries,” she says. “I really enjoyed playing on a coed adult team for a while, but that put me at risk of getting hurt, and I need my body to be a nurse.”
Now Knickerbocker, MSN, BSN, gets her kicks from nursing, both professionally and as a student enrolled in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care (PNP-PC) specialty program at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, where she is earning a post-grad certificate.
Soccer skills for life
CU Nursing PNP-PC Student Jordan Knickerbocker, MSN, BSN
As with soccer, communication, collaboration, and teamwork are qualities that Knickerbocker applies to her work as a pediatric clinical supervisor and educator at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction.
She began her nursing journey as part of a med-prep class she took while attending Thunder Ridge High School. After earning her Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) from a small, private Catholic school in Wichita, Kan., she earned her Master of Science in nursing (MSN) from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
Initially, Knickerbocker earned her MSN thinking she wanted to work towards her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) but had a change of heart.
“After working in pediatrics as a nurse, I realized I only wanted to work with kids and did not want to be an adult NP,” she says. “So I opted out of the DNP program, and just finished with my MSN because I had researched other programs that were pediatric-specific.”
“Once I saw CU Nursing had a post-graduate PNP-PC program, I knew it was a perfect fit for me and my future goals.” – CU Nursing PNP-PC Student Jordan Knickerbocker, MSN, BSN
Why she chose CU Nursing
CU College of Nursing’s PNP-PC specialty is designed to prepare graduates to care for children from birth through young adulthood in pediatric primary healthcare. That includes well-child care and prevention/management of common pediatric acute illnesses and chronic conditions.
“Once I saw CU Nursing had a post-graduate PNP-PC program, I knew it was a perfect fit for me and my future goals,” she says. “I was able to achieve other professional goals with my MSN, but my ultimate goal is my PNP-PC.”
Although there are plenty of competing PNP-PC programs around the country, Knickerbocker said she chose CU Nursing’s program because of its solid reputation, positive reviews, and high placement rates.
“The CU Anschutz Medical Campus is such a cool learning environment, and I really appreciate the connection a lot of the instructors have with Children’s Hospital Colorado,” she says. “I also like that it’s a relatively close drive for me even though a lot of my curriculum is online. I love that I can do everything from home and still earn my degree without having to be in Aurora all the time.”
In addition, Knickerbocker feels the teaching style of the program’s Assistant Professor and Specialty Director, Cassie Fishbein, DNP, APRN, is a good match for her needs as a working nurse advancing her education and opportunities.
“Dr. Fishbein has been so kind and supportive, and very understanding of our demands in balancing work, clinicals and schoolwork,” she says. “If I reach out to Dr. Fishbein, I'll hear back from her within a day. So, I never have lingering questions or concerns. She's always great about communicating.”
For one of her recent classes, Knickerbocker developed an evidence-based flyer to help concerned parents manage the RSV respiratory virus. She worked with the staff at St. Mary’s in getting it distributed among parents, community clinics, and local educators.
“I was able to take what I learned and apply it to our hospital and pediatric practices, and the community,’ she says. “It really empowers parents to know what they can do from home. But they also know the signs to look for and when to bring their children into the hospital.”
When she completes the PNP-PC program in May, 2023, Knickerbocker hopes to work in a primary care pediatric clinic in the Western Slope as a nurse practitioner.
“This program has definitely equipped me with the skills and confidence to do that one day,” she adds.