Graduate Programs

Blogs from students, faculty & staff

Eileen SheaThroughout our studies we are often asked about our goals for the future. At the beginning of my master’s program, my answer was fairly generic: get a job as a family nurse practitioner. As I continue to progress through the program, I find my goals and passions becoming more specific.

During our coursework we are encouraged to explore the concepts where we feel weakest, especially when we have the option to choose a subject to study with an assignment. We already feel completely overwhelmed in balancing everything that goes along with school, so why would we want to add the extra work of researching a concept we are inexperienced with for a project, as opposed to completing it on something that we are already knowledgeable on? Don’t get me wrong, because I don’t promote cutting corners, and I truly believe in a hard work ethic, but we all have our moments of weakness.

Stressed and confused, another assignment came about as they always do. I chose a topic, care of cancer patients, that I was familiar with, against better judgement, but it was an enlightening experience, because I realized that this wasn’t just another topic for me, but a passion. When it goes to finding your passion, it isn’t as simple as going out and looking for “X” marks the spot. Sometimes you stumble across the unexpected when you least expect it.

As a RN, I cared for patients with cancer diagnoses in the outpatient setting. As a future FNP, I can see myself continuing to advocate and care for oncologic patients, and this assignment reminded me of that passion. More and more often it is brought to my attention that these patients don’t realize that going through cancer therapy doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Hopefully, I can relieve some of that suffering.