Alumni Spotlight: Julie, RN-MSN, “Never Easy, Definitely Doable”

Julie is an Aspen alum who demonstrates that you can achieve amazing things through organization and perseverance.  Julie graduated from Aspen’s RN-MSN bridge program in February 2023 after transferring from another nursing program.  Julie is a great example of the amazing things Aspen’s transfer students can achieve through dedication!  Keep reading to hear Julie’s story.


Achieving goals requires patience, diligence, and in many cases, stubbornness. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a nurse. Hearing my father reminisce of instances overseas in the military assisting surgeons in the operating room confirmed my plan. I completed high school a semester early and began a medical assistant program. My husband and I married two weeks after the program concluded and began life together, recognizing our destiny included ministry and pastoring. As life would have it, we found ourselves with one biological child and two adopted children. It was at this time I began to revive the plan. I began nursing school at age 32, months after welcoming two additional adopted children into our home while working full-time during the day. To this day, I remind my children that they too, “can do anything for a short amount of time” and they know they can dictate the definition of time as they begin the countdown.  Over time, our family grew, and our home location changed more than once. Today we reside in the southeast region of the US and our family settled with a total of eight children, five adopted and three biological. We have added additional children by marriage and currently have six grandchildren.

My goal from the beginning hinged upon the RN-MSN track, with the ultimate intention of teaching. I began an MSN program with another online university. While this program required weekly recurring telephone conversations with a program representative, I was left frustrated and feeling pressed to test to prove competency and move on. My disappointment and disillusion grew as my goals of learning content were not met.

My nursing career has been heavily concentrated within the operating room. The challenges I successfully mastered created an unwavering stance on learning. I have held the position of nursing director for surgical services for multiple facilities.  I recognized that I would never accept a master’s degree if I had tested my way through via multiple choice exams. I intended to earn it, one class at a time, all while working full-time with countless other obligations added in. I reached out to Aspen University and the representative who walked me through the program noted the facts. My life was incredibly full and busy. On paper, my master’s degree goal looked impossible and a setup for failure. My stubbornness made me determined to earn my degree while gaining content knowledge along the way. Aspen opted to take a chance and I transferred in. From the first course, I was hooked. The difference in education received was instant and continuous.

Aspen University should be proud of the education provided and the demands made upon its students. There was not a single “easy” course throughout my RN-MSN journey. Even as I arranged the timing of sitting for the exam which allowed me to bridge into the MSN program to correlate with a cross-country move, I was not swayed or tempted to quit. Aspen has created a reliable system of modules and requirements. Each course builds both confidence and competence with helpful and accessible instructors. Recognizing with certainty that each course remained formatted identically allowed me to press on and on. With the completion of each course, knowing I could utilize the flexible schedule propelled me forward, providing more determination. During the move, my courses continued, and despite residing in a travel trailer or hotel rooms, I was able to get through without a late assignment.

The capstone, which seemed larger than life was broken down into completely manageable modules and was built right before my eyes. The oral defense proved the knowledge and passion gained and the final exam was surreal. All things considered, I could not be prouder or more satisfied with the cost of the program, the ability to obtain my degree without debt, the time involved, and the education I received through Aspen University. Never easy, definitely doable. Since graduation, I have been using my degree to focus on strategic planning and growth for our organization. The sky is the limit.

I applaud any individual looking to better themselves and being intentional in a desire to learn while achieving. In a world today where the easy way out feels often celebrated, Aspen stands on their own. This is NOT a space where degrees are handed out without hard work and dedication. If that is what you desire, keep looking, this is NOT the place for you.

Attending Aspen University will challenge you to achieve what appears impossible. The anticipation as you complete course after course only builds and your goals come alive sooner than you believe possible. You owe it to yourself to reach out to find yourself a student of Aspen. And, who knows, maybe I will find myself fortunate enough to be your instructor. I assure you that I have learned from the best!”



Julie’s hard work paid off; she earned her dream degree while working full-time and caring for her family.  It took a lot of determination, but it was worth it!  Aspen’s dedicated team of Academic Advisors have resources to help students like you meet their own educational goals.  Reach out to your Advisor today for academic coaching!


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