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 my degree while working full time as a visiting nurse. I am so weary of it all.

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

I read in a nursing journal that colleges are producing too many Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and the new graduates are having difficulty finding a job. By the year 2000, there will be an excess of 30,000 NPs.

I recently spent my clinical rotation with a school NP at the community health center. We assessed 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 this population. An NP came and spoke to our graduate school class this semester, who works all kinds of strange hours in the hospital Emergency Department.

After that lecture, my job as a visiting nurse with the elderly seems like an excellent with work hours from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, ten weekends, and one holiday each year. The pay isn’t great, but I could pick up some extra Saturdays here and there to make some more money. The office is only one mile from my house in beautiful rural Connecticut. I come home after my visits to finish my charting in the afternoon if we don’t have any meetings at the office. Now that my knee feels better after surgery, perhaps 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 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 thank my heavenly Father for moving the heart of my unsaved earthly father to help me 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.

Dr. K., the Dean of the graduate program, enthusiastically arranged 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.  One of my school advisors counseled me to stay in graduate school because she said I will make a wonderful Nurse Practitioner. Her encouragement means so much to me and gave me the desire to continue.

My final day as a visiting nurse is June 10 after working there for five years. I hate to say goodbye to some of my patients who have become like grandparents to me.

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 to cover our entire tuition and books for both semesters because of a shortage of NPs. 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 after receiving my degree since there were no positions for NPs in home care. Through God’s gracious provision, I graduated without any debt in four years rather than six years.

The prediction in the nursing journal of a glut of NPs never materialized and God always provided good jobs for me. In fact, job recruiters sought me out my entire career. Nursing will always have good job security because sick people need care no matter the state of the economy.

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