Eric Browning, BSN, RN, MA
Director, Clinical and Simulation Laboratory @ WKU
Eric began his nursing career in 1996 after earning his Associate Degree in Nursing from Madisonville Community College. He then went on to complete a Baccalaureate in Nursing from the University of Southern Indiana 2004, and Master of Arts in Leadership Dynamics in 2012 from Western Kentucky University. During his 16 years with The Medical Center, he has worked in the Operating Room, Open Heart Surgery, Infection Control, and Employee Health Services. Eric served as staff development coordinator at Southern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital from 2007-2009, coordinating and organizing various competency training programs for all SKY Rehab staff members. He eventually went on to work as a clinical staff nurse at Interventional Pain Specialists of Bowling Green from 2009-2013. In August 2013, Eric began in his new role as Director, Nursing Clinical and Simulation Laboratory with WKU SON.
How did your experience at WKU help you find your current position? The rigorous course load helped give me the confidence to apply and do the interview.
What would you look for, if you were in the position to hire new graduates from here? The ability to communicate, both verbally and written. As well as the abilities to think critically, problem solve, manage their time and prioritize tasks.
How did this program help prepare you for your current career? This program helped me build confidence and be prepared to take on questions in an interview. I had prior experience in healthcare, and originally decided to do the Organizational Leadership program to move up the corporate ladder where I worked. However, as I was graduating my current position opened, and I decided to give it a try.
What was one thing you liked best about the program? I enjoyed the group projects - while we talk theory in class, the projects gave us a chance to apply what we had learned, and allowed us to use our experience, as well as see different leadership styles from our classmates.
Was your graduate school experience worth the price? Yes, it was certainly a great value.
How much time per week did you spend studying/working on classes? Quite a lot. I took six hours a semester, so there were late nights, and probably 12 - 15 hours of work a week.
How much personal attention did you receive from faculty members? Quite a bit, they were always willing to help. I thought the face to face interaction that was very helpful. I had a perception that graduate school was going to be awful, but the professors and the program was wonderful.
How much interaction did you have with other students? An adequate amount. I was exposed to other cultures and Bowling Green's diversity. It also was interesting in group work, because usually each person in the group has to show leadership in some way to keep the project going.
What classes did you enjoy the most outside of your leadership classes? I really enjoyed my organizational communication classes.
What is something you wish had been done? An internship, though difficult to do working full time, would have been great. I also wish there had been mock interviews for practice - though I was lucky because my wife works in Career Services and helped me practice.
Advice: Certainly practice interviewing, it helps prepare you and help with being nervous. I did bring up my program in my interview, and I talked about the group projects and the skills I had learned to actually use.
Congrats to Eric (Alumni, graduate 2012), and thank you for taking the time to speak with us!