“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).
March 1973, Midwest, USA – High School Senior
Ever since last year when the Lord gave me peace about becoming a nurse, I have struggled in deciding which nursing school to attend. I visited two small Christian colleges here in the Midwest that I really liked, but neither has a nursing program. So I would have to earn a bachelor’s degree in some other major and then continue on to get a two-year associate degree in nursing. Six years total sounds way too long to be in school! I wanted to attend a Christian college in the south where I could major in missionary nursing, but my parents do not want me to go there, so they refused to sign the admission form. It was heartbreaking, but I know God closed the door for a reason.
I left the Protestant Church where I was raised because the Bible was not taught verse-by-verse and I wasn’t growing in knowing the Lord better. My sister also left, which broke our parents’ hearts, especially Mom. We became members of a Bible church led by the Pastor who Marsha met at the University her freshman year. A group of students from another University drives an hour every Sunday to attend. The pastor teaches a weekly Bible class on this University campus which is really growing!
They have a good nursing school at this University, so I decided to apply there as well as a three-year hospital diploma nursing school in the same city. I have my interview tomorrow at the diploma school and will tour the University while I am in the city. The diploma students work many more clinical hours in the hospital than the University students, but it is more difficult for them to obtain nursing leadership positions after graduation.
The next day I nervously entered the office of the Director of Admissions at the diploma hospital school of nursing. Mrs. L. greeted me warmly and gave me a tour of the nursing skills lab, classrooms, and dormitory. Afterward, we sat down in her office and she asked, “So tell me why you would like to become a nurse?” I replied, “I like science and I would like to help sick people get better. I enjoy learning new things, and I think it would be fascinating to learn all about the human body and how it works.” She asked if I had applied to other schools, and I told her I was also considering the State University in the city here.
She advised, “After reviewing your high grade point average and ACT/SAT scores, I think you should go to the University Bachelor of Science (BSN) program rather than our diploma program. Our program will probably be closing in the next few years, and I think you have real potential to go into management or research in nursing. You could then earn your master’s degree or even a doctorate degree in nursing!” I thought to myself, I am amazed that she thinks I have real potential to go so far in my nursing career! I would be satisfied to be a regular staff nurse, work a few years, marry a godly Christian man, quit work, have children, and be a stay-at-home Mom like my mother did. I thanked her for her time and drove across the city to tour the State University.
I joined the walking tour led by a student. This campus has 55,000 students, which is as many people as my entire city where I grew up! It has over ten libraries, 30 dormitories, and countless classroom buildings. The 1000 bed University Hospital is one block from the School of Nursing, so that would be convenient for clinical days. Despite all the buildings, it has green space and many beautiful trees, so it doesn’t appear to be a concrete jungle. After living in the country my entire life, I hope I can adjust to living in a huge city.
When I returned home, I asked the Lord to make it clear to me which school I should attend, and He gave me perfect peace that He wanted me to attend the University. I was accepted, and am so excited to start in the fall! It will be so wonderful to have fellowship with the other Christian students in the Bible class and give the gospel to American students as well as the international students who attend from all over the world. In addition to the prerequisites for nursing, I’m looking forward to taking electives in a wide variety of areas since they offer so many majors. The class catalog is fascinating to read. I also hope to become very fit from walking all over the huge campus to my classes.
The director of the diploma nursing program gave me excellent advice in steering me toward the BSN program at the University. As she predicted, the diploma school closed a few years later. When I was 39 years old, I returned to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner. I was thankful to receive my Master’s of Science in Nursing after four grueling years of working full time and going to school part-time.
In God’s great sovereignty, He never gave me a husband or children. Little did I realize when I was in high school that I would have a 40-year full-time nursing career, but God knew all along.