Patricia currently works as a home health nurse for Orleans/Essex visiting nurse association. As a home health nurse, she calls the beautiful Northeast Kingdom her work setting and client’s homes her office. Patricia says “A bachelor’s degree is the gateway to endless potential in nursing. As you look on websites and read nursing journals, there is a real push for bachelor degree prepared nurses and I did not want any doors closed to my future.”
One of the major challenges that Patricia has faced is increased responsibility at work –a sense of commitment to her employer and clients– while balancing her education goals. “I do most of my homework at night and on days that my family is not around,” she said. At the beginning of a semester, she prints monthly calendars and marks the days that projects are due. She then schedules vacation time around those days to finish projects and so her employer can plan.
Patricia will graduate with her BSN. She sees the opportunity a BSN degree brings. “The degree may not mean higher pay, but it certainly means more opportunity, which can lead to higher pay. Also, having the theory background helps me to be a more rounded nurse.” She credits her education with a better understanding of people in general. “I now embrace diversity."
Patricia says, “sit down, and figure out your goals. There are great financial resources available for nurses right now; you just have to look around. The beauty of online learning, you can log into your classroom when it is convenient for you."