Amber Then earned her associate’s degree in arts and sciences and a diploma in nursing in 1999. For the following decade, Amber focused on her family and her daily work as a nurse. “My family has always been the most important thing for me,” she says.
Over that decade of work in a hospital, however, Amber couldn’t help but notice how much the field was changing around her. “I felt almost trapped and I grew somewhat unhappy with where I was in my career,” she explains. “My family noticed my dissatisfaction and pushed me to pursue my goal of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).”
So, in 2009, Amber decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree, which she completed in 2011 with honors. Now, she’s at South University, Online Programs and with the support of her fiancé and family, she’s working toward becoming a graduate of the Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program.
As is true for many adult students, balancing school with family and work has not always been an easy task, but Amber has successfully maintained a 4.0 GPA at South University. “You have to have a great support system. That has helped a lot,” she explains, adding, “You have to pre-plan your schedule around your classes and assignment due dates.”
Amber’s dedication to learning and growth is obvious to those she interacts with in her classes, such as South University, Online Programs instructor Jeanette Hartshorn. “Amber is a hard worker who takes her academic growth seriously,” she says.
In Amber’s words, her success is a result of that work ethic. “Despite all of the obstacles I have come across during my educational process, I have been able to remain focused and give 100%. I have worked hard, stayed up until early mornings trying to get my schoolwork done while everyone is asleep,” Amber says. “I know that online classes can be very challenging, as it is up to me to get the most out of every class. For this reason, I continue to give my all and do the best I can do.”
For Amber, receiving the 2015 Emerging Nurses of South University scholarship award from the Education Foundation has further inspired and motivated her to stay focused on earning her degree in preparation for her to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). “It was one of the nicest phone calls I got this year,” she says.
By continuing to improve her skills as a primary care provider, Amber wishes not only to help herself, but also the nursing profession as a whole. “I hope to gain more autonomy and the ability to do more in my profession and more for my patients,” she says. “I want to serve as an advocate and to be part of the nursing profession’s movement and growth.”
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