“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 NKJV).
From my journal.
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 liked two small Christian colleges here in the Midwest I visited, but neither has a nursing program. I would need 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 sounds 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 refused to sign the admission form. I know God closed the door for a reason and have asked Him to heal my broken heart.
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 disappointed our parents, especially Mom. We became members of a Bible church led by the Pastor who Marsha met at college during her freshman year. The pastor teaches a weekly Bible class at the Ohio State University campus. New students attend weekly who are hungry for the Word and searching for answers.
They have a good nursing school at Ohio State, so I decided to apply there as well as a three-year hospital diploma nursing school in Columbus. I have my interview tomorrow at the diploma school and will tour Ohio State while I am in the city. The diploma students work more clinical hours in the hospital than the University students, but it is more difficult for them to advance after graduation.
With some anxiety, I 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 in her office.
“So tell me why you would like to become a nurse?”
“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 Ohio State University.
She advised, “With your high grade point average and ACT/SAT scores, I suggest you go to the University Bachelor of Science (BSN) program rather than our diploma program. Our school will probably close in the next few years, and you have great potential to go into management or research in nursing. You could earn your master’s degree or even a doctorate in nursing.”
The wheels turned in my brain. I am amazed that she thinks I have the 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.
A student led us on a two-hour walking tour of the huge campus of 51,000 students, as many people as in my entire hometown. The size overwhelms me with ten libraries, thirty 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, the green oval with beautiful trees keeps it from feeling like a concrete jungle. After living in the country my entire life, I hope I can adjust to living in a city of one million people.
After I returned home, I asked the Lord to make it clear to me which school I should attend. He gave me perfect peace that He wanted me to attend Ohio State so I mailed in the application form. My parents are in full agreement with my decision. The tuition will be lower than the private colleges since I am an Ohio resident.
I was thrilled to receive my acceptance letter to start in the fall quarter. In addition to becoming a nurse, I look forward to the fellowship with the other Christian students in the Bible class and opportunities to share the gospel with students from all over the world. The numerous electives look fascinating.
The director of the diploma nursing program gave me excellent advice in steering me toward the BSN program. 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. After four grueling years of working full time and going to school part-time, I received my Master’s of Science in Nursing
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 nursing career, but God knew all along.
Please share in the comments how you chose a nursing school or any advice you would like to give those who are considering entering nursing.