Military, Navy, nursing, Parents, self care

Meet Pam: Veteran, Nurse, Parent, Student, Scholar!

Pam Schreurs White Coat Ceremony
Pam at her White Coat Ceremony, four months after writing this blog post – Congratulations Pam!

Pamela Schreurs

Bachelor of Science, Nursing

https://portfolium.com/PamelaSchreurs

https://www.instagram.com/pamela_schreurs_nuscholar/

Greetings! My name is Pamela and I am a mother to two wonderful children, as well as a nursing student at National University.  I am also a US Navy veteran, and my husband is currently active duty.  It can be a struggle being a full-time mom and nursing student (especially if a spouse is deployed!), but I have felt very supported since starting my journey at NU.  In my downtime I enjoy spending time with my kids, volunteering with Girl Scouts San Diego, and taking time for myself.  One big take away from nursing school has been that self-care helps make you a more present nurse and parent.  I feel blessed to have had fabulous instructors who incorporate integrative therapy into the classroom, and I am excited to weave meditation, aromatherapy, and guided breathing into not only my nursing practice, but also my home life.

In July of 2018, I was accepted into the NU Scholars Program.  Through NU Scholars, I have been able to support peers’ community service projects, and am planning my own project hosting wellness workshops for elementary-aged girls.  I will also be hosting SafeZones LGBTQ literacy training for NU staff, faculty, and students to help promote a safe and welcoming environment for all who attend NU.

The NU Scholars Program has a strong emphasis on goal-setting, and I have learned a lot about how to set and structure concrete short- and long-term goals. My short-term educational goal for this year is to fully commit myself to the last two weeks of my psychosocial nursing rotation.  This is perhaps the most important rotation in terms of therapeutic communication and empathy, and I want to absorb everything I can before beginning my next rotation.  My long-term goal is to graduate with an excellent GPA in July – nursing school is tough, but I pride myself on putting in the work I need to maintain my GPA.  I cannot wait to have my kids help me put on my white coat in a few months, it is going to be one of the best feelings in the world!  After achieving this first long-term goal, my next long-term goal is to continue my education at a master’s level, focusing on pediatric mental health.

nursing, Online

Taking online classes

By Tera Voss, NU Scholar (July 2018 Cohort)
Bachelor of Science, Nursing
https://portfolium.com/TeraVoss

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Ah, the joys of modern technology. How amazing is it that we can get an education at home? If you’re like me, your life is busy. You may have chosen to go to college in the not-so-traditional way, and now you have kids, work, and a house to maintain. Or perhaps you’re fresh out of high school, and an online class is a whole new world for you. I’m here to tell you the major benefits of online classes, as well as tips for being just as successful as you would be on campus.

agenda-appointment-business-1020323.jpg1. Freedom to schedule your days as you please.
There’s something to be said for attending class in the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas. Seriously, I consider this a very valuable gift. If you’re a morning person, you can get your schoolwork done in the morning. If you’re a night owl, you can go about your day, and attend to your classwork at night. This is the beauty of online classes. You have the freedom to decide when you “go to class.” But be cautious: self-discipline is the key to success in managing your workload from home. Choose the best time for you and commit to it.

Tip for Success: Get yourself a planner (or Google Calendar if you prefer paperless). Go through your syllabus as soon as it is available to you, and write down all of your deadlines for assignments. Always plan ahead, and work ahead when you can!
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2. More time spent at home with family.
This is my personal favorite factor of online classes. I am a single mom to a toddler. Not only do I need eyes on her at all times (because she’s really into exploring everything right now), but the time I spend with her is valuable, and I can never get it back. Even if you’re not a parent, work-life balance is so important. Online classes allow you to be home, be present, and still accomplish your goals.

Tip for Success: Make sure your family understands that you need to set aside uninterrupted time for school, and work with them to find out what time is best to accomplish this (for me, I work when my daughter sleeps). Having everyone be on the same page makes for a much smoother and more productive day.

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3. No commuting. Ever.
Who doesn’t love to save on gas? Who doesn’t love attending their desired school while living in another state? Who doesn’t love traveling!? This is such a cool thing about technology. We can learn and work towards a degree, and the classmates who participate and interact with each other can be anywhere in the world, so long as they have internet and computer access. This is especially beneficial for are active duty military, military families, or anyone who has to travel often.

Tip for Success: If youre on-the-go, try uploading your school schedule to an app, and make sure you can access email and other important class information from your phone.

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The most important thing to remember about online classes, and college classes in general, is that the level of success you achieve is entirely up to you, and the effort you put inMy hope is that these tips will guide you in a positive direction, and you will feel confident in forging the path of online class success. 

adult learner, nursing, Parents

Returning to school after a hiatus

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By Deborah Nabubwaya Chambers, NU Scholar (July 2018 Cohort)
Master’s in Public Healthcare Administration

I grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and did my undergraduate program in Psychology at Daystar University. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2007, I wanted to continue with my education, but unfortunately, due to life events and other family responsibilities, I could not return to school as soon as I had planned.

After relocating to the United States in 2011, I finally enrolled in some prerequisites to complete courses that would make it possible for me to pursue a nursing degree. One of those classes was an epidemiology class, and I instantly had an epiphany that public health was exactly what I wanted to pursue. I had finally found a field that connected all of my interests in nursing, healthcare in general, and community development. My desire to help others, work in healthcare, and support underserved communities would still be supported by pursuing public health. I searched for graduate programs that I could pursue online while I continued working night shifts at a hospital in West Texas.

A little over 8 years later, I was back in school as an adult learner. I started my first class just before my family and I relocated to Illinois for work. Subsequently, I decided to be a stay-at-home mother and pursue my graduate degree in public health.

Returning to school in 2015 after a hiatus was certainly not an easy decision. It meant giving up a lot of free time and balancing everything to meet my educational goals. I did my assignments whenever I got a chance, at odd hours like during my children’s nap times and after they went to bed at night. No matter how busy I was, I made sure that I did school work every day so that I would not fall behind. Pursuing an accelerated program meant giving it my all right from the beginning, and I took classes almost every month for two years. My oldest child knows how to do a good impression of me using the computer to scale the mountains of assignments and research papers. One of my proudest moments of being an adult learner was taking my entire family to my graduation in San Diego.

Throughout my program, my family kept cheering me on, and gave me wings to fly. My oldest son tells me daily that he is so proud of me and that he wants to be like me. He says he wants to go to school and type on the computer like mama and help sick people. I know that I am positively impacting my family members’ lives, as well as the lives of many others in my community who will benefit from the global and community health research that I am actively participating in. This is all thanks to the knowledge and opportunities that I have received while attending school at National University.

After graduating in 2017, I still desired to advance my career and learn more, returning to school to pursue National University’s healthcare administration program. Even though I have been successful in an accelerated program before, I continue learning every day about how to balance my work, family, and school responsibilities. It has not always been easy but every challenge has made it a growth experience that is nothing short of marvelous. Who knew I would absolutely enjoy school this much?

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