Nurse's Watch: Conversations on contemporary nursing,
nursing education, leadership, spirituality and blogging.
~Start date February 2010~

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


       Sorry for the slightly, overly dramatic title. I finished my B.S.N. and August 17th I started my Masters in Nursing Education! I am so excited! Wow, the R.N. to B.S.N. program I was in was very difficult but I believe that it has prepared me well for a M.S.N. program. Is there anything a true nerd loves better? Probably not. I have learned a great deal. For those considering possibly continuing their education may I offer some insights:

1) People constantly would ask me how in the world I was managing. I work full-time and am a  full-time student. The key to perseverance? Plan, study, keep your head down, utilize every second and complete the task at hand....Just do the next thing. Don't look ahead, worry, and fret. It accomplishes nothing. Remember this is for a season, not forever.

2) Elicit help from your family. This commitment after all is for them too.  My kids would bring me snacks and my husband ran the show. For a long time I mourned not being able to be supermom anymore but he works part-time and I am our main support. Life is what it is....

3) I did worry that perhaps the investment was too great since I was fifty when I started this journey and I will be fifty-three when I finish my M.S.N. However, as a friend astutely noted, I'm going to be fifty-three anyway! Yes...Yes, I am, good Lord willing.

4) Anything worth having is worth working for, consequently plan on sequestering yourself and studying. Also, if you are planning on attending graduate school, grades are important.

5) I was lucky in that we have a study in our house. Here I could close the doors , put my ear plugs in and immerse myself in the task at hand. If the family is underfoot and you need to study consider the library, staying over at work, or hijacking your bedroom for your very own.

6) Organization is extremely important. This is something I have to work at, not an innate gift. However, rearing six active homeschooling children has probably helped me acquire some of these skills. Calendars are a must. Syncing phone calenders and computers are great technological advances.

7) The internet is indispensable. At the very end of my program our internet cable was cut by local builders. I ended up getting an i-phone so I could tether to my computer to hand in some documents and I spent time at my daughter's house. If you on-line school, have a back-up plan for internet...don't wait till the crisis happens.

8) It helps to have a friend. I was very blessed during my program to have one. Often on nights when we were working on projects, text messages of humor and complaint would fly back and forth over the airwaves. Yes, a friend is good. Thanks Nikki :)

9) Go for it! A B.S.N. is becoming more and more necessary. I love working as a staff nurse. However, in our area of the country floor nursing is about all you can do without a B.S.N. Realize that in the future the day will inevitably come when you are tired of required overtime, tired of being short staffed, or just plain tired. You may be to the point where you simply want more...Prepare now!

10) With more education comes more opportunity, more options, more independence and more autonomy...Yes, that pretty more sums it up. The older and wiser you get the more you will desire these intangibles.

More later on how to begin...