Deciding to Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Just making the decision to go back to school for a Bachelor’s degree in nursing was the hardest part of the process for me.
When I graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 2003, I went to work as an RN on the postpartum floor at one of the largest women and children’s hospitals in the country.
At that time, I had no desire to go back to school to get my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, let alone my master’s degree.
I was working my dream job. I was happy with an Associate’s Degree being my highest education level. I was an RN!
I convinced myself there really wasn’t any reason to get my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. I wasn’t interested in management and had no desire to teach at a college level.
I would have to put in a lot of time and money and I wouldn’t get any more compensation for the extra duties and responsibilities that came along with the degree.
I already had a great career and family and couldn’t have been happier or more content.
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When Life Happens
Then in one surreal moment in time, my world came crashing down. I was faced with a divorce and was now a single mom to three little boys, ages 2, 1, and newborn.
My perspective began to change and I began looking at my education as security for my future.
Furthering my nursing career was a way I could influence my family tree.
I was raising future men, husbands, and fathers, and I wanted them to have a solid education and strive to accomplish more than they imagined possible.
I quickly realized that in order for them to think that way, the thought process needed to start within me. I needed to set the example and go back to school.
Second Guessing Myself
Once I decided on the direction, several stumbling blocks to executing my new plan quickly got in the way. The biggest stumbling block: my own insecurities.
I wasn’t confident that I could accomplish my education goals.
I worried I wasn’t smart enough, was concerned I wouldn’t have enough time, and that I would be taking precious time away from my children.
Along with the personal feelings, the financial commitment/risk was almost crippling.
I had successfully cared for high-risk postpartum moms and their newborns, critical care patients in the emergency department and ICU but yet I was having a hard time believing I could go back to school.
The goal of completing my degree seemed so far away and it was nearly impossible to imagine. I had a great support system in my family and friends and everyone encouraged me to go for it.
So I did. I was scared and nervous not knowing what to expect.
Finally Going Back, For Myself
I had everything set to start my first class and 3 days in but I got very overwhelmed and scared. I decided that the timing wasn’t the best.
My kids were young. My kids needed me. I don’t have time. The same thoughts as before were playing through my mind again.
I waited a whole year before I was ready to start again.
However, days before my first class started, another crisis hit my little family, one even more devastating than before and I thought about postponing my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing program for the second time.
It was then that I realized that I could always come up with an excuse not to start my classes and that I needed to just do it.
I just needed to take that first step – just start.
Now when I look back I think about how hard that first step was and how long it took for me to take it.
I Wish I Would Have Started Sooner
Ultimately, I wish I hadn’t been so scared. I wish I had believed in myself, my abilities based on my experience and my natural inclination to want to learn. I wish I’d started sooner.
I wish I’d started sooner.
Looking back, I can say it has been worth the challenge. It was worth the sacrifices. I have grown tremendously professionally and personally.
It was worth accomplishing something that my sons, now school age, see me balance home, work, school, church, baseball, football, and all life throws at us.
When it’s all said and done, it will have been a family effort.
Without a doubt, my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing has been worth it! It can be done, even when it’s terribly hard and even scary.
It can be accomplished – one step at a time. Just start by taking that first step.
If you’re considering furthering your education, view our BSN programs.