My NP Journey – Andrea R.

My name is Andrea Robinson. I’ve been married for the last 8 years to my best-friend since we were 10 years old. We are raising 4 children together while I’m pursuing my Nurse practitioner degree. On June 8, I will have been a Registered Nurse (RN) for 18 years. I’ve always had a passion for healthcare and helping people. In middle school I was in the HOSA (Health Occupations Services of America) program followed by the Medical Sciences Program for Nursing in high school which allowed me to become an LPN a week prior to graduation. My aunt, also an LPN, encouraged me to go for my Bachelors.

I moved to South Carolina from South Florida at 17 years old and obtained my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from South Carolina State University – Go Bulldogs! I began college as a premed student. I was doing well but couldn’t afford to continue. I’m a first-generation college student. No one in my family had any idea of how much college cost. Being an out of state student with mounting school and living expenses was too much, even with a scholarship. I decided to forego medical school and pursue nursing. I am not upset that I did that. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What made you choose NP?

Five years into my nursing career, a post-op thyroidectomy was not doing well. The nurse who was caring for her needed a hand, so I stepped in. There came a point where she was between life and death and I was able to keep her stable until the surgeon arrived. I was nervous because a lot of what had been done was without a physician’s consent and could’ve gotten me in a lot of trouble. But when he saw the orders I had placed and what had been done for the patient, he came to me and said – “why are you a nurse? You have so much more potential inside of you. You should have been a doctor.” It was both offensive and a compliment. I love my job as a nurse and didn’t see it as an inferior position. I take my profession very seriously. He then suggested that I look into becoming a nurse practitioner. That was the first person to ever put that thought into my head. Life happened and I put it on the back-burner, but it was always there.

What made you decide to go back to school now, after nearly 17 years?

My husband was the driving force behind me going back. He could see my passion and knew that I wanted to go back to school. I believe my previous husband had a fear of me being more successful than he was, so going back to school was always an issue. But my current husband has been a huge supporter of mine. He was adamant that I follow my passion so I told him that I would look into it. When he brought it back up a few months later, I had already been accepted a week prior. He didn’t know about the application or interview process. (I had not told him about it because there were so many personal issues going on in our family that took precedence and so I put it off.) Also my aunt (mentioned earlier) was a huge motivator for me. If she – at over the age of 60 – could go back to school and accomplish this, then I have no excuse. The next generation had to do better. So now I’m going after my Master’s.

Side Note – I’m a huge advocate for education and have always considered it my exit strategy. I believe that no matter what happens in life, no one can take your education from you.

I grew up poor and in the projects. Most girls were pregnant and/or already mothers by the time we were in the 12th grade. So the fact that I had not only graduated high school but would be going to college was huge. Myself and the only other graduate from our neighborhood received scholarships from our housing development.

What are the challenges you have faced on your NP journey?

Tell me the importance of a support system for you?

Could you do it without a support system?

How do you manage being a wife, mom, student and employee?

What effect has the changes had on your family?

What does a Typical Day look like for you?

Do you have any words of encouragement, advice or caution to other student moms?

What would you say to the prospective applicant who is a mom hesitating to apply due to her
responsibilities at home?

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