Meet the Master of Nursing Class of 2024

October 30, 2023

Meet the Master of Nursing Class of 2024

MN students Marcela Montes, Raf Baglio, and Nancy Abu

This fall, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing welcomed 63 students to the Master of Nursing (MN) program. 

The 16-month MN program prepares students with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline to take the national licensure exam to become a registered nurse (RN). 

As a result of students’ various backgrounds, the program brings together a diverse group of students who have a range of experiences and perspectives.

Students in the MN program Class of 2024 bring professional and academic experiences in air traffic control, computer science, firefighting, teaching, wealth management and more. This diversity makes the MN experience one of great energy, openness and collaboration.

Meet some of our students

Briana Baker

Hometown: Des Moines, Washington
Undergrad alma mater: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Bachelor's degree: Kinesiology 

Prior to the MN program, Baker served as a volunteer firefighter as she studied kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Baker most recently worked as an emergency medical technician and medical assistant. She applied to the program because she realized she wanted to be a stronger advocate for patients and to be more involved in their care.

The reputation, prestige, and focus on diversity and interprofessionalism were key factors in her selecting the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. In five years, Baker sees herself in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program progressing her career in nursing.

Margaret Perry

Hometown: Shelburne, Vermont
Undergrad alma mater: Wellesley College
Bachelor's degree: Mathematics and Computer Science

Perry describes herself as committed to the bit (the bit is just her life). All while staying committed to the bit, she was a double major in mathematics and computer science at Wellesley College. She applied to the MN program to have a career that would allow her to take the analytical skills she developed as a software engineer and use them in a way that prioritized community service. 

Perry acknowledged that it wasn’t an easy decision to go back to school. “Switching careers and going back to school is daunting. I appreciate that the MN program is accelerated while still providing a well-rounded curriculum and hundreds of practicum hours,” she said. 

Stephanie Breitzman

Hometown: Menomonie, Wisconsin
Undergrad alma mater: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Bachelor's degree: Physiology and Public Health

Breitzman has served as a community health worker (CHW) for the past three years with a focus on health care for the homeless. Now that she is in the MN program, she is looking forward to leveraging her experience as a CHW and shining a light on issues relating to health care access for people experiencing homelessness. In the future, she sees herself working in public health to help expand health care for homeless programs in Minnesota.

Thana Zoske 

Hometown: Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
Undergrad alma mater: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Bachelor's degree: Psychology and Health Sciences

Thana Zoske says she’s a G.R.A.N.O.L.A. gal: goofy, responsible, adventurous, nature, open-minded, logical, approachable. She pursued a career in nursing because she saw an opportunity to apply her passions outside of work into clinical practice. 

While in the MN Program, Zoske is looking forward to making connections between the physiology and hands-on experiences of nursing. She was drawn to the University of Minnesota School of Nursing because of the high quality nursing education offered and the endorsement of her family in health care. 

In the future, Zoske sees herself going back to school and working on her DNP in psychiatric mental health nursing.

MN student Favour Noni

MN student Favour Noni

Ellen Sheehy

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Undergrad alma mater: Washington University in St. Louis
Bachelor's degree: Biology

Sheehy is a colorful shoe lover, a twin, an interesting postcard collector and a new student in the School of Nursing’s MN program. Prior to the program, she worked in public service for different counties, with roles ranging from COVID-19 response to community resource navigation. She wanted to become a nurse after her experience working with nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic response. In five years, Sheehy sees herself leveraging her nursing experience to create policy change.

Anne O'Connor

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota
Undergrad alma mater: University of South Dakota
Bachelor's degree: Health Administration

O’Connor is married, has two amazing boys, loves to run, camp, canoe and hike. One time while on a trip to Spain, she ran from a bull. 

She fell in love with direct care while studying health administration at the University of South Dakota. After working in health care administration for years, she realized she was pushing her true passion of direct care aside and applied to the MN program.

While in the program, O’Connor is most excited to meet other students and learn from their experiences. In five years, she sees herself working in nursing leadership and making an impact on policies and systems that are not currently working as well as they could for vulnerable patients.

Mae Barnes

Hometown: New Hope, Minnesota
Undergrad alma mater: The College of St. Scholastica
Bachelor's degree: Psychology

Barnes is a passionate mom, retired competitive skier and a MN student who loves to make lists. She wants to become a RN because it will allow her to combine her adoration for kids, value for women’s health and passion for inspiring others. She appreciates that nursing is a path that will allow her to make a difference in someone’s life. 

Barnes was drawn to the program because of its reputation, the accelerated pace and the support she received from School of Nursing faculty and alumni during the application process. 

She plans to work in labor and delivery once she graduates and she wants to get her DNP degree eventually. Aside from her career, being a mom is her pride and joy. She is excited to spend time with her son and help him explore the world.

The MN program Class of 2024 reading the Commitment to the Profession

The MN program Class of 2024 reading the Commitment to the Profession

Daniel Guild

Hometown: Elysian, Minnesota
Undergrad alma mater: University of Minnesota Duluth
Bachelor's degree: Biology

As an undergraduate, Guild studied biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He decided to join the program and become a nurse because he is passionate about supporting positive patient experiences and outcomes. He is also passionate about taking a holistic approach to health and he looks forward to bringing that to his work in nursing.

Logan Oberholtzer

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Undergrad alma mater: The George Washington University
Bachelor's degree: Psychology and Mathematics

Oberholtzer joined the MN program after working as a middle school teacher. She wanted to become an RN because she has an interest in health care, caring for others and making an impact on people’s lives. She still loves working with the younger generations and she sees herself as a pediatric nurse in the future..

Anny Tran

Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Undergrad alma mater: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Bachelor's degree: Psychology and Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Justice

Before starting the MN program this fall, Tran spent part of her summer in Japan and climbed Mount Fuji! As an MN student, Tran is looking forward to learning the art of nursing and gaining exposure to the many opportunities nursing provides. She was drawn to the program because it provided her with an opportunity to make a significant impact on others.

MN student Chad Fleischhacker

MN student Chad Fleischhacker

Chad Fleischhacker

Hometown: Rush City, Minnesota
Undergrad alma mater: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Bachelor's degree: Kinesiology 

Fleischhacker is an eccentric and humorous person who loves people. While growing up in Rush City, Minnesota, Chad broke his femur and had a titanium rod inserted into his leg.

He applied to the School of Nursing because he appreciated the holistic approach that the nursing model offers. While in the program, he’s most excited to learn the technical skills required of an RN.

Rebecca Skelton

Hometown: Golden Valley, MN
Undergrad alma mater: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bachelor's degree: History 

Skelton is a nonprofit leader, mother of three and a future health care professional.

Rebecca worked in nonprofit leadership and major gift fundraising for almost 30 years before deciding to go back to school at age 52 to pursue her dream of becoming a health care professional. 

While Rebecca’s career has taken many different turns, she has always wanted to be a health care provider. She wants to have a very direct impact on the community so that she can see how her daily work makes a tangible and positive difference in people's lives. 

In five years, Rebecca sees herself running a health care clinic that utilizes both her practical nursing skills and her long experience in organizational development and nonprofit systems. 


Tags: Master of Nursing (MN) Program

Media Contacts

Steve Rudolph
School of Nursing