Am I ready for an advanced degree?

I am a nurse. And, proud of it.

Did you know that? Did you even remember I was a nurse?

Yea.. I don't talk about it too much on here. After my last update on my current job, it was silent silent silent. 

After rereading that update from my first week on the new job, things really aren't all they are cracked up to be. It's sad. I am constantly bummed that I don't LOVE IT like I thought I would. Don't get me wrong.. it's not horrible. It's actually quite fun some days! But, overall... it's just a job.

And that really saddens my heart.

I love being a nurse, so therefore I want to love my job. Ya know? I know that our jobs shouldn't be our whole life, but when you are single and don't have a family of your own and you do spend the majority of your days at work... you kind of want to enjoy it... right?

Right. So, I am also constantly thinking about what else I want to do, where I should go from here, etc. Because, what I see as truly fulfilling and wonderful (wife and mom) isn't happening any time soon... I need to make more of an effort in this part of my life.

I have just started to skiiiiiiim the very tippytop surface of the idea of going back to school.

Which is still quite daunting.  Nursing school was hard.  I am not a school person... have never been an academic.  So, the idea of going back to school was never really on my radar.  I always told myself that I needed to have a really good idea/purpose for my advanced degree, if I were to dive back into school.  I need the motivation. I would burn out very quickly if I just went back to school because that is what you are supposed to do, or because everyone else thinks you should.

When I think back on my nursing career so far, the one constant thing that I have LOVED and reeeeeeeeally really enjoyed was working with nursing students/new grad nurses/teaching others about diseases, medications, etc.

Namely, education.

It brings me so much joy. Helping others see their potential, finally understand something they didn't get before, and building their confidence as a nurse or a parent with a child who has a new diagnosis.

I love it.  I had a wonderful opportunity this week to work with an LPN student, who shadowed me at work one day. It was wonderful! Hearing her stories. Feeling her enthusiasm. Sharing our love of helping people. And encouraging her and her path to eventually becoming a registered nurse.

It was gentle reminder of my passion for students. Being there in this most frustrating, stressful and crazy time! It's hard work becoming a nurse. But being there to support and to encourage and remind them that it is all worth it in the end.  To bring my love and joy of nursing to their world, when they might be questioning their ability to finish or doubt their choice on becoming a nurse in the first place.

But, to celebrate and rejoice when they finish! When they are able to tackle something they didn't think they knew how to do! Or when they have the confidence to take the 4 patient load with nary a worry or question! 

That's what is exciting to me.  Building up the future nurses to be the best and most confident they can be!

Last night I had another opportunity to speak to a few students at Ave Maria University about nursing. AMU is looking to start a nursing program in the Fall, so there are a few current students who are interested in nursing school.  We had a such a great time!  First, it was so fun being on a college campus again. Memories came flooding back from my years in school. Along with my RA ways! ha. It's funny what comes back to you as you walk around and see things in the halls of the dorms or the crazy kids running around campus. :)

I digress. The girls that came to listen to me ramble on and on my talk, were so sweet. They asked such good questions. They really didn't know much about nursing school or the endless opportunities being a nurse really gives you. Being able to talk about my love for the profession was fun and I hope it was encouraging to the girls!

And, yet again, it reinforced my love for students. To be another support for them.

And so... I find myself maybe a littlebitmore encouraged to take a more active step in looking at Master's programs. Most nursing programs (and even education departments in a hospital) require an advanced degree if you are going to work in that setting. So, if this is something that I feel strongly about, it's worth me pursuing that degree more seriously. Right? Right. Yikes!

Any nurses out there with advice?! 

Am I ready for this? Please pray for me! I am not sure where the Lord is calling me with this, but I am trying to be super open to it/Him. :)


  1. Hey! I totally know what you mean... going back to school would be tough for me too. BUT it sounds like you are really finding your passion and I think it would really make it worth your while! As long as you have a focus and a goal to look forward to I think it would be totally do-able! At least that's how I often feel when I think about going back for my NP!!! I'll keep you in my prayers! :)

  2. I'm not going to beat around the bush, grad school is hard. But it is also wonderfully rewarding! I love being able to be with people who share my passion, while learning and growing together!

  3. You clearly have a strong passion for it, and if in the long run it will make you happier then I say go for it! Dealing with the academic side of things will be worth it in the end.

  4. Hi Jen!!

    That's exciting you are thinking of going back to school, and I can definitely relate with you as I felt very much that same way when I was considering going back to grad school. I definitely agree with Emilia -grad school is hard. And time consuming. While I knew that going back to school would mean more homework, I really did not anticipate it taking up almost every free minute I had outside of regular work :( However, I would not regret for a minute deciding to go back to school because I've learned so much along the way!! I'd say if you are feeling the tug, definitely explore it more as I'm sure you would be absolutely amazing! :)

  5. I have no great advice for you but I'll be praying for you.

  6. Ahh I can't wait to see where the Lord takes you with all this. And I totally get the not being good at school thing, when I get my diploma in a few weeks it will be little short of a miracle.

  7. Yes,,,,,,just mom talking here.....but you are bright...and you have consistently experienced joy from the awesome experiences you've been given by mentoring and working with new nurses. Can't think of a more perfect way to spend your time...doing something for you that will give you the ability to impact so many future nurses!

  8. Oh my goodness, I found your blog through Natalie's and I love it. I'm also a nurse and single and totally get what you mean, that our jobs are such a big part of our lives and happiness.

    I think graduate school would be a great idea for you! A lot of hospitals here in Houston pay for graduate school, not sure if that's the same in Florida. I could totally see you working as a clinical instructor or helping build up new grad residency program at a hospital. Look into a masters in nursing education!


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