I used to believe my life needed to be balanced. But for as long as I can recall, this goal has been difficult if not impossible to achieve. I remember days in graduate school where I would leave the house at 6am and not return until 10pm, and in that time I would have studied while I rode the train to the city, crammed down a quick breakfast at my pre-dawn desk, worked a full time job, raced to crew practice to coach nine lively 14-year-old girls, and attended night school. I laugh when I consider the load I had to tote with me--books, a change of clothes, and three meals!
My grad school schedule might sound ludicrous; however, when I look back at that era now, seven years later, I am struck by just how much fun it was. I have never been more alive as when learning new skills. I got as much as I gave out of that life as a student, and the imbalance of it taught me an important life lesson going into motherhood.
Yes, balance is impossible, but fortunately it's also no longer my goal. The new achievement I strive for in my life is to learn from my experiences and never become complacent. I hope to learn new skills every year, such as my doula training last spring and my childbirth education training this spring.
I accept the prudent advice of those who came before as much as I can; when I say, "Oh but I'll be almost 40 by the time I'm done if I go back to school," those people say, "You'll be that old by then anyway." That little nugget of wisdom is why I am considering going back to school to get an advanced nursing degree.
|My 18-year-old sister informs me these desks are "ancient" because they lack a personal plug for electronics. SCARY.|
Nursing school isn't a new goal for me. I have in fact completed prerequisites over the last ten years. What has changed is what I hope to get out of the program and what kind of school I'd attend. An Associate's Degree was my previous goal so I could sit for the RN license, but I am setting my sights on a different degree today.
Now that I have been a birth doula for almost two years, I've seen how much I enjoy working with families over the spectrum of their reproductive needs, with birth and family planning as my particular interests. A family nurse practitioner degree would allow me to work with low-income, at-risk youth and families who would need and benefit from my services. Nurse practitioners are primary health care providers, meaning that prevention, wellness, and education would be my priorities.
I was surprised to learn Kaplan University offers many advanced nursing degrees, including a family nurse practitioner Master of Science. I could even go further in my studies to purse a Master of Science, DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) Path if I decided to pursue a faculty position or a Nursing Informatics Certificate, which would be useful in the current environment of technologically-advanced health information. I could also choose informatics as my primary focus by enrolling in the Master of Science, Informatics Nurse Specialist track.
My primary reasons for choosing a place like Kaplan University is its practicality of offering online and blended programs, and its affordability. For a mom of two like me, an affordable online program is the new gold standard for universities offering advanced degrees.
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