Mindy Rice is a wife, mother of three, nurse and Spring Arbor University MSN/Ed online student. We sat down with her recently to learn about her challenges and successes as a busy, working Mom pursuing a career in nursing education.
“The biggest challenge for me is that I have to remember to schedule time for studying,” said Rice. “But with Spring Arbor University online, I’ve been able to make it fit.”
Mindy uses a calendar, viewable by everyone in her family, to schedule personal and professional obligations, as well as study time and assignment due dates. She also dedicates Wednesday nights completely to her children – no work or school allowed.
“My boys love having a strict schedule,” Rice told us. “And because everything is scheduled, they don’t feel neglected.”
Mindy credits Spring Arbor University’s flexible online courses and supportive instructors with helping her better juggle her life and work. “This is a very doable program. Master’s assignments are due weekly, and we have the entire week to get assignments turned in. The teachers understand my life, and the one-class-at-a-time schedule really helps you focus.”
For Mindy, nursing is a calling. One she wants to further develop and grow. She graduates in a few months and plans to pursue a nursing instructor position, teaching nurses who are pursuing their bachelor’s degrees. In the not-so-distant future, Mindy plans on getting her doctorate to teach master’s-level nursing students.
“Not everyone feels they are called to a job, but for me God opened the door at the perfect time for me to become a nurse,” Rice told us. “To be able to do this is humbling. And studying at a university with the same values means so much. I know that our teachers pray for us; it’s uplifting to see a devotion at the bottom of my weekly instruction. It’s a little reminder that I am in the right spot.”
4:30 a.m.: Wake up and do devotions.
“I’ve learned that if you don’t do God first, nothing will go right.”
6 a.m.: Wake up my boys and get them ready for school.
7 a.m.: Arrive at the hospital for work.
1 p.m.: Study while kids are at school.
3 p.m.: Pick up kids from school.
4 p.m.: Prepare dinner.
5 p.m.: Eat dinner with the family and do the dishes.
6 p.m.: Do homework at the same time as the boys.
“The kids have enjoyed having a schedule”
8 p.m.: Get the boys showered and ready for bed.
9 p.m.: Read to the boys and tuck them in for the night.
9:30 p.m.: Complete my homework, review my schedule for the next day and spend some quiet time with my husband.
10:30 p.m.: Go to bed.
“Getting my degree online has enabled me to continue working and spending time with my family. And I’ve made lifelong connections with fellow students and instructors, which has been a nice surprise.”