The mornings when you wake up, and literally have nothing to do, are the best kind of mornings. This morning, was not one of those. If felt like there were a couple dozen sticky notes on my brain, and I wasn’t sure which to do first, sound familiar? But today it was still pretty good. Mostly because I started the day out meeting with Jesus and reading through Psalm 18, which is pretty epic. I was left in awe of God’s majesty and power. So if you have a free 20 minutes today, check it out. Also, because I get to spend the evening with my family.
So here’s the thing…I’m going back to graduate school. Which is extremely exciting, and somewhat terrifying, but mostly a calling I feel God has put deep in my heart. I was so busy this morning because I was trying to get all my proverbial ducks in a row with my applications. I spent hours, HOURS, trying to narrow down which school I wanted to attend (weeks before today). So I’ve decided to apply to Liberty University and Bethel University. Both are private Christian Universities where I could learn in an environment where talking about Christ isn’t some weird sort of evangelism, but where I feel I could voice what I’m most passionate about in a support environment where I could also learn valuable lessons from other believers who are seeking to live for Christ in their journey as nurses. For my undergraduate I loved being in at SDSU, a public university, and I never in a million years would change that. But for my graduate degree, I felt strongly that I needed a solid Christian foundation.
After writing a statement of purpose essay and a brand spanking new resume today, I wanted to share with you guys my heart behind going back to graduate school for my M.S.N. as a nursing educator. At the beginning of this year I never would have guessed that I would be where I am today, or that I would even have the desire to be a teacher. Now, I couldn’t be more passionate. When I worked with Cru, I fell in love with college students. College students are at such a unique place in life in the fact that can literally go anywhere, do anything, and be anybody. After college you tend to get comfortable, be a little less brave, and follow your heart just a little less. I don’t know why that is, but it’s what I’ve found to be true. So being able to teach students at an age like that is a privilege, to be able to have a part in molding their future and inspiring their success while being a light into their lives.
At Sanford I’ve had the opportunity to train some students when they were having clinical and following my patients. I’ve also gotten to work with a student for their senior practicum for six weeks, which was pretty amazing to see the growth of this young lady growing from a student to a nurse. At the end of our time together she bought me flowers and a balloon that said “Thanks for all you do!” And I was sold, these students just snatch up my heart.
I would love to be a part of starting a Nurses Christian Fellowship or some other get-together to encourage and teach student nurses who are believers or to share more about Jesus to those who don’t know or care all that much. Cru, and other ministries, have ways for professors to partner with them by being advisors, leading bible studies, or joining in on their summer missions and I could definitely see myself being apart of that someday.
My work at the hospital in really rewarding, but the hours are down right terrible. The hours are not the main reason, or even second or third reason I chose education, but do play a role. Half of my shifts I’m stuck working the night shift, living the night lyfe, and feeling like a vampire out of some cheesy horror film (especially if I happen to be covered in blood that night—which does happen some full moons). Of course, even as a nurse educator I would still want to work at the hospital PRN, just to keep my experience relevant. But PRN’s usually get to work to the bright shiny day shifts if they so chose, which I would of course. So I can survive for the four years I’m in school, but I’m amazed at the staff who have worked the graveyard shift for 30+ years. Good work. And working a college schedule is a dream (well I could imagine), no nights or weekends, breaks off, and summers off. Sign me up! I know grading assignments takes quite a bit of extra time, but I think I can handle it.
Another amazing thing about this degree is the opportunity to work for an online college at some point, which gives freedom to work from literally anywhere in the world. I LOVE traveling, so that would be pretty ideal. Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mama (even though I’m still waiting for the other half, but I’ve been praying extra hard recently ha!). So eventually, I could teach from my couch in my PJ’s and continue to have a nursing career, which is awesome.
At the end of the day, I know God is good and I’m blessed for the purpose and calling he has put on my life to be a nurse. The nursing field is endless, but as a graduate prepared nurse, there are even more opportunities. Which is super great, because I tend to get bored real real easy. If you have any advice about going back to graduate school I would love to hear from you! If you are a nurse educator, I would also love to hear any tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way. It would mean so much to me if you could send a prayer as I submit my applications and await a response. Even in the midst of a crazy day, don’t forget to meet with the King and Kings and the Lord of Lords today, because he is never too busy for you.
Psalm 18: 1-2, “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”