I am officially 75% done with my MSN in Nursing Education, folks!

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Quick recap: I began in July 2017, and it is now August 2018. I have three classes left, one of which is my 100-hour practicum and capstone project.

Flexing my time

What’s been wonderful is that I am in charge of my timeline. As you may know, I’m expecting our second child in December of 2018. I would really like to be done with my MSN before that time because completing assignments and practicum hours with a newborn in the house sounds well, really not cool.

Therefore, I’m really picking up the pace with these last two courses. I am hoping to get them done within the next month or so to enable me to begin those practicum hours as soon as possible.

Increased efficiency

I’ve also noticed that as I progress through the program, my efficiency has really increased. I can find my resources faster because I can quickly pick out good journal articles from not so great ones. I definitely have found the value in the advanced search option in the Capella library. I immediately add filters so only relevant criteria are shown. I usually need sources from within the last five years that are from peer-reviewed or scholarly journals, with full-text available. This helps narrow down what I need, and fast!

I’ve also really fine-tuned my process for completing assessments. Even though they’re pretty dynamic assignments (sometimes it’s a regular paper, others it can be a PowerPoint presentation, letter to the editor, blog post, or memo to key stakeholders, for example) I follow the same sequence in completing them.

I also feel like the knowledge I’ve acquired in my classes is showing through in how certain concepts just make more sense now and I’m able to pick things up faster. I looked back at some of the first papers I wrote last year and was able to see how far I’d come!

Preparing for the practicum

I met with a liaison at my hospital to get things set up and have met my preceptor. Things are all lined up for me to begin, I just have to get these next classes completed!  I’m going to be with a nurse educator at a hospital who focuses a lot on a new graduate residency program. My advisor for my practicum and my preceptor are both well aware that I am pregnant and have a goal to complete it all before the baby is due, and they’re all on board with it and my timeline.

Getting this situated really made me thankful for the self-paced format of FlexPath because if I were in a traditional program, I most likely would have to follow the traditional semester-long timeline. That would not fit into my life at this point, and hate to think that I could have missed out on getting my graduate degree simply because I couldn’t stop life to make it work. One of the biggest reasons I didn’t go back to school before I began this program wasn’t necessarily because of money, it was more so about the time commitment.  With FlexPath, I’ve been able to make it fit into my life and not the other way around, so I’ve been able to (almost) complete my MSN while working full time, taking care of a toddler, and expecting our next.

Onward to the practicum!