Thursday, April 21, 2011

Student for LIFE!

Well, not really - but that's what it feels like! In a week, I will finally have my bachelor's degree from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama.

While I should have rightfully had my BSN 5 years ago (at 21, not 26), I'm honestly thankful for the "ride" that I've been on. Without the hiccups along the way, I would not have met all the amazing people that I know now, and I wouldn't be employed at the place that I'm at right now either. Which makes me sad to think that I would not know the people that are closest to me now. God definitely has a plan for each of us, far beyond what anyone could grasp on their own. No matter how much control we think we have on our lives, God constantly reminds us that he has a distinct plan for our lives.

Back to my nursing program ... The nursing program was entirely online, and truthfully - the easiest college courses I have taken thus far. I finished the program on the president's list for all three terms (I cannot say that about any other point in my college career). I would HIGHLY recommend JSU's STEP nursing program to any ASN nurse that seeks an online BSN program. There are no clinicals at all, and their is no out of state tuition (and it's a state school, so it's AFFORDABLE!). Strangely, my place of employment does not even give me a penny raise for this higher degree. However, my real intentions for getting a bachelor's degree was to continue on to my family/primary nurse practitioner career goals as many of you already know.

I was recently accepted into Auburn's Primary Nurse Practitioner online program for this summer (I thought I was applying for Summer 2012), but after many prayers I believe that starting a program before Blake is born would not be good timing. While finishing school BEFORE he was born would have been ideal, I didn't want to be a 30+ first time mom. Timing will never be right to have a family, so David and I prayed that ONLY if God wanted to bless us with a child that it would happen. And a few months later, it happened!

Many of you know that I always have a million things on my plate at a time, and honestly I love keeping myself busy (maybe I'm a little crazy!? ... don't answer that!). While many other mom's may not agree, I plan to start a nurse practitioner program in January 2012 (when Blake is 4+ months old). I know that it will be hard to be a new mom and in school, but if anyone can do it - I can, with a lot of prayer and support from my family :) I figure that it will be easier to juggle him and school when he's not involved in a ton of activities. Once I'm done with the 5 semester program (less than 2 years if I go full time), I'll be DONE with school. (Unless of course, someone pays for me to get my PhD later in life!?)

I am in the process of applying to Samford in Birmingham, Alabama (where I started my nursing school journey - so it would be pretty neat to finish there), Kennesaw State and Georgia State. All the programs are primarily online and allow you to do clinicals with an approved "preceptor" at virtually any hospital. I pray that it will be a fairly seamless process.

However, I'm looking forward to having the next two semesters off - the most time I've taken off of school in years!