A True-Blue Nurse: An RN to BS Grad and Current DNP Student Shares Her UB Nursing Journey

Cindy-Ann Bautista.



Cindy-Ann Bautista comes from a proud family of UB graduates. She is advancing her nursing career through UB even further with her current enrollment in our Family Nurse Practitioner program.

Cindy-Ann Bautista, BS '20, is a graduate of our RN to BS program, which was ranked the No. 1 online bachelor's degree nationwide in 2023, according to U.S. News & World Report.

By Shannon O'Sullivan

Published June 12, 2024

Before Cindy-Ann Bautista graduated in 2020 from the School of Nursing’s RN to BS program, the no. 1 ranked online bachelor’s degree in the nation, UB was already an important part of her life.

Bautista’s husband, son and daughter are all UB alumni. So, when she decided to earn her bachelor’s in nursing, she felt like attending UB was the logical choice.

“Well, I can’t be the only Bautista that doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree from UB, so that’s what drew me,” she said. “So, we could all be a UB Bulls family … I love UB.”

Bautista currently works as a travel nurse in the emergency department at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. She is also enrolled in the family nurse practitioner program at UB. She was originally inspired to pursue nursing after enduring her own health struggles.

“I got a kidney transplant … and I was hospitalized a couple of times,” she explained. “The nurses that took care of me, they were just fantastic … and at that point I had been going to school, in and out, and I finally decided that nursing was what I wanted to do.”

Bautista worked as a home health aid and a certified nursing assistant before becoming an RN. As a working nurse with a family, she lauds UB’s RN to BS program for its flexibility and support.

“Every professor that I had was extremely flexible,” she said. “They understand that we are working individuals, and they do their best to ensure that you have that education to move to the next level of nursing.”

In New York State, registered nurses must earn their bachelor's degree within 10 years of initial licensure. Bautista explains the benefits of the bachelor’s degree for practicing RNs.

“The whole purpose of it is having us really slow down and take a look and realize the theory of why we’re doing what we’re doing on a daily basis,” she said.

Through working with diverse patient populations in emergency departments, Bautista emphasizes that one of the most critical aspects of nursing is educating patients and their loved ones about how to manage their health after discharge. She notes that the cultural and linguistic diversity of U.S. patient populations makes inclusive and cross-cultural communication strategies essential for nurses.

“We need to be multicultural in our practice,” she said.

Bautista underlines the importance of diversifying the nursing profession for many reasons, including that some patients from marginalized communities may be reluctant to seek treatment from health care professionals and providers who do not look like them or come from a different background.

She currently serves as a mentor for an undergraduate nursing student through the School of Nursing’s mentorship program for students from underrepresented backgrounds. She also wants to become more involved with providing care via global experiences trips, as inspired by Molli Oldenburg, program director of the family nurse practitioner program and global initiatives coordinator.

“She [Oldenburg] does so many things that I would like to do,” she explained. “Going to other countries … learning [about] different cultures … looking at the different health care systems.”

As a future family nurse practitioner, Bautista aspires to found her own practice in a community with low socioeconomic status. She also hopes to offer pop-up nursing care events, where community members can receive services and education, including having their blood pressure taken, diabetes management training and wound care.

Bautista views nursing as “the foundation of health care” and offers advice for those looking to join the ranks of the nation’s most trusted profession.

“Nursing has to be something that that you enjoy,” she said. “Even when the day gets tough and you have a bad day, you know when you come back the next day, you cannot wait to provide care.”

Media Contact Information

Sarah Goldthrite
Director of Marketing, Communications & Alumni Engagement
School of Nursing
105 Beck Hall (South Campus)
Email: sgoldthr@buffalo.edu
Tel: 716-829-3209