Following the completion of my nursing degree through Mount Royal University, I worked in various areas of medical, post-surgical, harm reduction, and mental health.
The busyness of life
I’ve always had a passion for learning and decided that I wanted to take a new leap in my career.
Obtaining my Master of Nursing (MN) degree would open more doors of opportunity for me such as working as a clinical nurse specialist, clinical nurse educator, or a nursing professor. With my busy life, I didn’t think that I could pursue my MN until my child was older. My husband and I travel the world every year, so how could I give that up if I had to attend classes? We also have to plan around shift work, as my husband is also an RN.
Getting my MN seemed unrealistic and unattainable for me. In 2016, one of my coworkers suggested taking my MN through Athabasca University (AU) by online and distance learning because it might be a good fit for my lifestyle. This was a game changer.
Online and distance learning
There was some apprehension on my end, wondering about what online and distance learning would be like. My husband encouraged me to apply and give AU a try. He knew how important completing my MN degree was to me. Once I was accepted into the MN program, I started taking a couple courses to see how things went.
Turns out, I absolutely love online learning! The professors I had were so engaging through the courses and developed a variety of learning activities that piqued my interest. I also felt supported by my professors throughout the courses. Doing group work helped me keep connected and collaborative with my co-students.
The most valuable part of doing my program through AU was having control over my schedule. While doing the first year of my MN degree online, I was able to travel to Italy, Florida, and California. My courses could be done anywhere in the world and all I had to do was access Wi-Fi! I could also be present with my family thanks to the flexibility of completing my courses at home!
I never imagined that I would be doing my MN degree while still being able to live the life I love, and I’m ever so grateful.
Annamaria is a proud mother of a four-month-old son, as well as a wife, daughter, Registered Nurse (RN), and world traveller. Her current occupation is as an RN in mental health and addiction in Calgary, Alta. She has worked in this area of nursing for seven years. This summer, she’s going on a month-long trip to Italy and Switzerland with her family.