DEGREE EARNED: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program
TAKING THE PLUNGE: When I began Walden’s nursing program in October 2014, it had been 11 years since I had earned an associate degree and immediately went into the workforce. I work night shifts as a registered nurse at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., and I’m a single mother to my 8-year-old son. I was terrified about going back to school and how I would do. Self-study has never been a strong suit of mine, so I knew I would really have to apply myself.
BALANCING ACT: I studied after I dropped my son off at school, usually from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
I would also do coursework when I had downtime during night shift, submitting a lot of assignments at 2 a.m. Not having an in-person class was such a huge benefit to me because there’s no way I would’ve been able to work full time on the night shift as well as go to classes.
RECEIVING SUPPORT: The 2-year associate degree program ended up taking me 4 years to complete. But with Walden, the RN-BSN program took me less than 2 years. I think much of my success is due to Walden’s vast array of online resources. I had access to everything I needed to produce quality work, including every type of nursing journal you can imagine. Another valuable resource was software that allowed me to assess a virtual patient. I could ask questions, and it would answer as if it were a real person.
PLEASANT SURPRISES: Before I came to Walden, I was a B student. I never thought I would be so self-motivated, but Walden made it attainable for me to maintain a 4.0 GPA. Outside of school, I was also able to maintain a 120-pound weight loss that occurred after I underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2013. Despite the stress of going back to school, working, and parenting, I kept the weight off. I consider that a huge success.
BIGGEST CHANGE SINCE EARNING MY DEGREE: My degree has made me a more marketable job candidate. I now have the flexibility to apply to more selective hospitals that are closer to my home. I’m interested in following the family nurse practitioner route, and I intend to re-enroll with Walden to obtain my Master of Science in Nursing soon.