Strayer Alumna and nurse Tasha M. Lea, BSN, R.N. (Masters of Science in Health Services Administration ’14), has big dreams. In her quest to one day become a chief nursing officer, Tasha traded her light blue scrubs for office attire and a crisp lab coat.

Tasha manages a demanding role as nurse manager for Duke Primary Care in North Carolina. She works packed days and long hours managing and coordinating patient care and personnel needs for the twenty-one staff members at her clinic. She handles everything from promoting patient education to the hiring and scheduling of medical assistants, front desk staff and licensed practical nurses. She’s also always on-call, available on a moment’s notice to provide nursing support or assist in clinic emergencies. It’s a tough job—but Tasha is determined.

How does she stay motivated?  Tasha can carry out this juggling act because of her long-term interest in both medicine and leadership, and she says her training as a registered nurse, combined with her master’s degree from Strayer University, have prepared her to take on multiple responsibilities. Plus, it’s easy to perform when you love what you do. “I like to work with people, and I like taking care of people,” she says. “It’s just that simple.”

After completing nursing school and securing her license, Tasha went on to work as a nurse specializing in gastrointestinal surgery and surgical oncology at University of North Carolina Hospitals, before moving on to the hospital maternity and newborn ward. There, she went from a Clinical Nurse II to a Clinical Nurse III—a big jump that requires higher-level management responsibilities—and cared for patients while mentoring nursing students and assigning patients to staff. Now, as a nurse manager, Tasha is putting the business and leadership skills she learned at Strayer to good work.

Since getting her degree, new opportunities have opened up and Tasha feels even more capable and confident than ever before. The future looks bright. Go, Tasha!