So why didn’t you just go to nursing school to begin with? Admittedly it took me a while to find my way (I guess you could still I’m still finding it), but I’m actually relieved that I didn’t jump in to nursing at age 18. I got an amazing education at Davidson College and learned for the sake of learning (in the words of Davidson, “to liberate my mind”), an experience for which I will always be grateful. My major in Anthropology taught me about respecting and valuing differences – a perspective that has also come in handy in my nursing career. My background in non-profit work showed me how important it was to understand where people come from. And of course (and most importantly), caring for my father when he had cancer gave me an incredible perspective and taught me empathy and compassion on a level I would never have grasped 10 years ago. Although it took me a little longer, I’ll never regret the path that brought me here.

Tell us more about “S”. S (also known as Steve in the real world) is a keeper. 🙂 We met on Match.com four years ago and have never looked back. He has seen me through a really tough nursing program, moved with me four times (and counting), and kept us afloat financially by taking soul-sucking jobs for which he is vastly overqualified. And in the midst of it all, he married me! I’m a lucky gal! When I graduated in May, I turned to him and said “It’s your turn now. What do you want to do?” After much thought and discussion, he has decided to take the plunge and become a PA. Since he graduated from college a while ago, this means many semesters of prereqs and patient contact hours before he can even apply to programs. But he’s already deep into his first class (and rocking it, I might add). It’s been really exciting and affirming for me to watch him flourish and come alive when he talks about school. I’ve been trying to convince him to start a blog of his own – I think he has an important story to tell!

Why move cross-country now? Funny, that’s a question I’m sure many of my relatives are trying to figure out. 😉 We are moving now so that we can establish residency in our new state and save some money on prereqs via in-state tuition. The area where we are moving has multiple PA programs. Plus there are great opportunities for me to complete my training as a nurse practitioner. We’ve timed it out so that I will be done with my training just as S is starting full-time PA studies, which will allow me to earn a higher income while he’s not working at all. Cross your fingers this all goes as planned!

Why do you get political on your nursing blog? I think the most important reason is that I have realized that everything is political. And health care these days is no exception. I consider it my responsibility as an engaged and involved health care professional to discuss issues that affect us and affect the work we do. I’ve also made no secret of my political beliefs because I believe it is a personal right to express what I think. I don’t do it to offend people and I certainly do not engage in personal attacks. If you don’t agree with me about something, I invite you to respond – I’m happy to engage in respectful dialogue.

You talk a lot about self-care on your blog? How do you practice self-care? This is (sadly) an area where I need major improvement! My Zumba classes keep me going but they’re also expensive, and exercise is often the first thing to go when I’m super duper busy. And I am an emotional eater, which means stress (a.k.a. the last four years) often leads to binge eating, followed by crash dieting. It ain’t pretty and it’s certainly not healthy. I’m trying to figure out a way to incorporate better self-care practices into the blog, for accountability purposes and just to share the experience. A Zumba classmate of mine dropped a bunch of weight last year and I commented to her what it battle it is to stay healthy. She looked at me funny and said “It’s not a battle…it’s a journey!” I think changing my own mindset like this would do wonders!

Have more questions? Leave a comment here or contact me!