By Catherine Beasley
Adjunct Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
My career in nursing started in the small town I grew up in where the hospital was home to 20 beds. My father was a physician and my mother worked in the lab. In high school I took a nurse’s aide class and worked as a nursing assistant for a year. I loved the work and admired the nurses that worked alongside me. Their competence regarding rural nursing and compassion for patients inspired me to become the nurse and person I am today.
Advancing my Nursing Education
Immediately after graduating nursing school, I joined the military where advanced education was a requirement for promotion for rank. The most challenging part was balancing my military duties as an Officer and school since being an officer always came first. Sometimes it was mentally taxing to come home from work and then go to school.
It was all worth it because all the self-investment paid off in terms of both personal and professional development. Though I left the military after eight years of service, I was hired into a civilian leadership role of my choice because of my advanced degree. Hard work is rewarding in the long run!
Helping Students Apply Knowledge Outside the Classroom
Being a professor is highly gratifying because I get to see students apply knowledge inside and outside the classroom. I constantly hear stories from my students about how my class content facilitates conversations in their workplace environment. Each student brings their own unique perspectives and says that the class content causes them to think about things differently in a good way. I teach several courses, such as Leadership and Management, Introduction to Nursing Leadership, Trends and Issues in Nursing and the Capstone Project.
Advice for Nurses Continuing their Education
If you are considering going back to school to advance your nursing education, know that all the hard work will be worth it in the end. Develop a strong, detailed plan, research options and stay organized. You should also seek out resources such as employee assistance, grants, scholarships and financial aid to avoid debt.
Just know that the family and work-life responsibilities will continue regardless of school and if you have children, the education plan must facilitate life balance in order to promote success.
The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at Grand Canyon University provides students with a unique experience because of the type of environment they promote. Students get to walk through their education through the lens of a Christian worldview and have faith integrated within the curriculum. I teach online, and we have a spirituality forum so students can view and post encouraging scripture, prayer requests and/or stories. The forum promotes love, acceptance and responsible leadership which helps encourage students when they need it.
An important lesson I hope students carry with them is to know they are never alone in their nursing career. God is always with them, guiding their hands and the providing knowledge to help others.
Interested in advancing your nursing education? Learn more about our online nursing programs by visiting our website or clicking the Request More Information button on this page.