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.