Christian Single, graduate school, Nurse Practitioner

Continue Graduate School or Drop Out?

April 19, 1997

Show me Thy ways, O Lord, teach me Thy paths. Psalm 25:4 (KJV)

I am seriously debating whether or not I should continue with graduate school. They are raising the tuition to $380 per semester credit hour, and I have 29 hours to go to complete my Master’s of Science in Nursing so it will cost me $10,000 to finish. It will take me about three more years to complete while working full time as a visiting nurse. I am weary of it all.

I asked God if I should continue graduate school or drop out.

I read in a nursing journal that they are producing too many Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and that the new graduates are having difficulty in finding a job. By the year 2000, there will be a glut of 30,000 NPs. I recently spent the afternoon for my clinical rotation with a school NP at the community health center. I met a middle school girl taking illegal drugs, other kids taking antidepressants and numerous pregnant unwed teens who have already had several abortions and sexually transmitted diseases. I do not want to work with that population. An NP came and spoke to our graduate school class this semester, and she is working all kinds of strange hours in the Emergency Department of a local hospital.

After that lecture, my job as a visiting nurse with the elderly seems like an excellent place to work! I work from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, ten weekends, and one holiday each year which isn’t too bad for nursing. The pay isn’t great, but I could pick up some extra Saturdays here and there to make some extra money. The VNA office is only one mile from my house and my territory is so beautiful in rural New England. I am able to come home and finish my charting in the afternoon if we don’t have any meetings at the office. Now that my knee feels better after surgery, maybe I can remain in this old three-story house a while longer. I’ll make a few more phone calls on Monday after reviewing the job section in the Sunday newspaper. I rest in the Lord and trust Him to show me the way.

May 24, 1997

“In the day when I cried, Thou answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3 (KJV)

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 (KJV)

The Lord answered my prayer in a marvelous way concerning school since I last wrote on April 19. Last Thursday, my Dad called me and said he wanted to support me financially so I could quit my job and go to school full time and finish my degree. He asked me to send him my monthly budget and he will cover my expenses. I met with Dr. K., the Dean of the graduate program, and she enthusiastically worked out my schedule so I can graduate next May. Because I missed the research course last semester, she will teach me individually this summer for two hours weekly so I can catch up.  I thank my heavenly Father for moving the heart of my unsaved earthly father to help me out in this way. I never asked my Dad for any financial support. I’m still in shock as to how wonderfully the Lord worked this out and for making my path so clear. One of my school advisors counseled me to stay in graduate school because she knows I will make a wonderful Nurse Practitioner. Her encouragement gave me the desire to continue.

My final day as a visiting nurse is June 10. It is hard to believe that I have worked there for five years. I hate to say goodbye to some of my patients who I have visited for five years. Some of them are like grandparents to me.

Reflection

The Lord opened the way for me to continue in graduate school and finish in four years rather than six years. In the fall, Dr. K. told the five of us who were full-time students that the school had received a grant from the USA government that would cover our entire tuition and books for both semesters. The government reported a shortage of NPs, so they helped NPs graduate more quickly. Because it was a grant and not a loan, I did not need to repay the government. The Visiting Nurse Association reimbursed my tuition at the end of each semester for the first three years of school while I worked for them fulltime. They did not require me to work for them as an NP after receiving my MSN since there were no positions for NPs in home care. I graduated debt free because of God’s gracious provision.

The prediction in the nursing journal of a glut of NPs never materialized. I never had any trouble finding a job as an NP. In fact, I have been inundated with job recruiters my entire career with a multitude of NP openings. Nursing is still a good career for job security because there will always be sick people to care for no matter the state of the economy.

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