I Never Said I Would Take the Easy Road

I am a nurse practitioner and really do like my profession. I did not do take an easy route to get there. For many years, I blamed myself for taking detours to get to my career.

My senior year in high school it was decided I would be a nurse. Then, we only had 2 choices go to diploma school or go to college and get my BSN. Nursing at 18 was not my first choice but if my parents were to pay for school I had to choose “a sensible career for a woman”. I definitely wanted to go to college because all my friends were going. I sent 3 applications and was accepted at all three. I decided to go to Carlow College in Pittsburgh as they gave me a great financial aid package.

I did exceptionally well my first two and a half years. Then I began to lose interest. I studied but not with the passion I had previously. Finally, I did the unthinkable, I failed one of the classes I was taking-not a nursing class but you were not permitted to stay in the program if you failed a class. I ended up switching majors to education but because I failed my parents would not pay for any more of my education. I paid for it myself through grants and loans but also took a part-time job in our cafeteria. It was there I met my future husband and soon left school, went to Erie and became a wife.

Fast forward to now being a wife and mother with a 2 and a 6-year-old. I had worked as a waitress and nursing assistant but knew I wanted to be a nurse. I decided to go back to school. It was not easy as my husband was working but also drinking. I applied to Washington Hospital School of Nursing and was accepted (funny now going to get that diploma I didn’t want to get so many years ago). Thank goodness for my Mom and Dad. They helped with the kids and offered moral support. I studied hard and graduated with honors and so started my nursing career.

I had wanted to be a Nurse Practitioner since the birth of my son. My pregnancy was followed by a Nurse Midwife and he was delivered by the Nurse Midwife. I tucked that dream away back then but never forgot. To accomplish the goal I had to first obtain my BSN. I started at Wheeling Jesuit but halfway through something interrupted my schooling-the death of my father. I took two years off but then went back. I finally achieved that goal and knew my dream was closer to becoming a reality.

I waited to start the final chapter until my kids were older –one was starting college and the other was in high school. I decided to go to a new program at Duquesne University. I had many years of experience as a nurse but the course load was challenging. I was going to school part-time and working full-time. I had the help and support of my children and husband. Unfortunately my mom had passed away as well.

My dream was realized in May of 1999. I obtained my Masters in Family Nurse Practitioner and graduated with highest honors. The road was long with many detours but making my dream a reality was one of the proudest moments of my life.


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10 Responses to I Never Said I Would Take the Easy Road

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey to seeing your dream come true Kathy. You are an inspiration to us all… My take away from your personal journey is “never give up on your dreams…” Great Post! XoXo

  2. You are an inspirational example of how hard work, commitment, and long term vision achieve dreams! Congratulations!

    • katsbynp says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I think maturing I knew what I wanted and was willing to put in the commitment and effort. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Here’s the secret, I think; there IS no easy road!

    • katsbynp says:

      I agree but used to think if I did most of with no children and single it would have been easier but I have come to realize that my desire to be a nurse drove me to my goal.

  4. Haralee says:

    Inspiring how although life got in the way but you kept on moving forward! I only use Nurse Practitioners as my primary health care provider. I noticed after about 10 years as a pharmaceutical sale rep that the NPs I was calling on were the most current and the most understanding. When my NP moved I was lost until she recommended a colleague of hers, another NP.

    • katsbynp says:

      Thank you for your kind comments. I think NP’s take the whole person into account not only the disease entity. Glad you are well satisfied with the care you receive.

  5. dltolley says:

    Inspiring, Kathy! Proves that we should never give up. Especially when things don’t work out the first time! And congratulations on that 1999 degree. And with highest honours! You rock!

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