Francis Atangan, RN to BSN student who attends class at UVA's Northern VA site.
Atangan, a native of the Philippines, is a licensed practical nurse who works full time at INOVA's ER and will graduate from UVA's RN to BSN program in 2024.

Meet Francis.

Harry Potter superfan. Lover of audiobooks, playing video games, and working the night shift. Proud INOVA ER nurse, native Filipino, Loudoun County resident. The first nurse in his family. Just finishing his first year as an RN to BSN student at UVA’s Northern Virginia site.


“My mom moved to the United States when I was in second grade, and I was raised by my grandparents. Living with them, I watched them get old and have their health decline. My grandmother had three strokes and was hospitalized multiple times. My grandfather and I were her primary caregivers, taking her to appointments, caring for her at home, getting her through PT. That’s really what gave me the idea that I wanted to enter healthcare. I studied to be a nurse in the Philippines and was nearly done when I was offered a Visa to live in the U.S. with my mom, so I jumped at that chance. Since I moved to the U.S., I’ve become an LPN, and then became an RN. It’s been my goal since to become a BSN-prepared nurse and to practice to the fullest extent of my skills.”


"Lessons are applicable on almost a daily basis. You tie in more stuff that goes beyond the RN stuff, digging in deeper. So now it's not anatomy anymore but how we nurses develop the practices we do, how we enact policies that will be beneficial to the patient. I'm focusing more on the bigger stuff: the how, when, why. It's really interesting. 

"Since I work in the ER, and we're literally the frontline, I see a lot of people coming through and can tie it into what I'm learning about community and population health. It's a side that you never think of in nursing because we often think solely about inpatients; we don't see what happens to patients when they get home, how they manage, how they feel."


"It's hard to find something like this program these days. I have colleagues trying to get their BSN, and they get roped into things that take a lot of money, and time, and sometimes force them to cut back on work so they can get their education, which can make things really hard. That’s where UVA’s RN to BSN has an edge; it’s convenient and the pace is right. It’s perfect for someone who’s working full-time.

"It wasn't a big deal for me, as an LPN, to get my requirements to get into UVA and be ready for the RN to BSN program. I completed mine at Lord Fairfax Community College. That all went smoothly and nicely and I've found the program is really awesome. Dr. Wiersma, our main professor, is really awesome, and the convenience of it being close to my home is another plus. And, with just two classes each semester, I can balance it really well."

“I’m a master procrastinator; you can’t take it out of me! But the program’s felt manageable to me. It’s worked well. We meet on the Fairfax campus each month [and with hybrid learning], and I do stuff on my own time only one or two times a week."


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