I’m thirty seven years old. I grew up in Southwest Philadelphia, and currently reside in Northeast Philadelphia. I’m recently divorced with two daughters. After separating from my husband I decided to pursue my dream to become a nurse. My biggest obstacle was worrying about how I was going to work seven days a week, find time to study and do homework, balance my family and still have somewhat of a social life. Through the grace of God I was able to overcome all of these obstacles. My daughters and I enjoy time together and they don’t feel that I’m neglecting them. I cut down a few hours of my part-time job while this allowed more time for me to be able to study and do homework. Managing my time has allowed me to enjoy my social life as well. Not to brag, but I have a 4.0 average!

Is there a quote that you live by? Please tell us why.
Live your life to the fullest. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

Why do you want to become a nurse?
I want to become a nurse because I enjoy helping people.

What will be your favorite part of the job?
Helping a patient and knowing that they are completely satisfied, and seeing a smile appear across their face afterwards.

Which area of nursing will you choose (ER, OR, ICU, LTC, FNP, or other specialty area)?
I would prefer to be a pediatric nurse. I have been in the medical field for the last seventeen years, and I’ve always dealt with adult patient. It’s definitely time for a change.

What is your toughest course subject? How can someone prepare for it?
I’m still doing my Pre-requisites. English was my hardest class, it didn’t require much studying but it was very challenging. It requires a lot of time and dedication. I recommend that someone take English before taking any other courses. Many of the other classes will require you to write papers, and this will give you the foundation to do so. In order for me to receive a good grade I had to dedicate a few hours a day just to write my papers. Most days I was up until 1 and 2 in the morning, but I didn’t give up. I received an A in English 101 and 102, but it wasn’t easy.

I contacted the school’s admissions office and they then scheduled me for a placement test. I’m currently doing my prerequisites. You can always speak with a counselor if you’re not sure of what to do. You will find this to be helpful rather that doing it on your own.

How are you financing your education? Do you get tuition reimbursement?
My employer is paying for my education. I have been in school for about sixteen months.

How do you manage your time with your family and job?
I’m currently working two jobs-seven days a week, and I have classes three nights a week. I have two daughters that are 17 and 21, and I am still able to manage my time so that we can go shopping at mall, go out to dinner and attend other functions.

What do you think will be the biggest drawback of being a nurse?
My biggest drawback will be dealing with terminally ill patients and knowing that they are not going to make a full recovery. My second biggest drawback is dealing with irate patients.

What advice would you offer to anyone who wants to become a nurse?
Nursing is challenging and it requires a lot of studying and determination. Your heart definitely has to be in it; it’s not about the paycheck. You will have your good days as well as the bad just hang in there, because it’s very rewarding.

Good luck ladies!

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  1. ShalenaD.I.V.A on September 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Nell, I am so proud of what you’ve accomplsihed in such a short period of time. You were always smart. I’m so glad that God opened your eyes to new possibilities for your life. I can’t wait to attend your graduation. You will make an excellent nurse because you do everything from the heart. Your patients will be well taken care of.

    Love you soooo much for being a great example of never giving up on your dreams and taking big, bold steps to become the person you’ve always knew you could be.

    Love ya, big sis!

  2. Friendly Christian on November 7, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Ms. S. Burton,
    If I may just add that you have always been an outstanding individual. Determination is and was always your name. You will do well and so will your children. You have overcame many obstacles in your life and I never had a doubt that the Lord would bring you out. I have always been proud of you and I’ve always believed in you. Life comes along and takes us through vallies and peaks that we don’t prepare for but nevertheless, thanks be to God who gives us the victory even if we don’t recognize it’s Him. Let me share with you a piece of my story. In the process of my divorce I returned to school to get my degree. I worked hard in a depressed state of mind but God brought me through. I was still very wounded and my professor caught hell because he was a preacher and I wasn’t trying to hear it. I ended up having the most outstanding presentation among all of my cohorts per the Dean and my professor’s report. I did have to ask for his forgiveness at the end because I treated him so bad. Hurt people really do hurt people. I thought if I just step out the church world for a minute I wouldn’t hurt anybody, not so. I’m grateful to God for that professor. He remained Christlike through the torture I know I put him through. I am so proud that you are living your dream and your children are at ages where they can appreciate what you’re doing for yourself and all that you’ve done for them. They will always benefit from your endeavors and your accomplishments. Your generation has excelled beyond your parents. I’m looking to return to school because I always wanted to acquire a Doctorate Degree, that’s something I wanted for years, like you I wanted to work with children. However I’m open to possibilities and I desire to concentrate on a specific area because I want to teach. Thank you for sharing your dream and pursuing it. You and your lil’ sister are the Balm. There is life after divorce and I will be reaching out to the divorced community because there are issues that we need to address and we need to support oneanother.
    Friendly Christian
    Friendly Christain

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on November 7, 2010 at 4:44 am

      Friendly Christian, you took the words right out of my mouth–LOL! I’m very proud of my sister, too!

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