Alumni Spotlight Brandy K. RN to MSN: “Moving Mountains”

aspen university alumni spotlight

Country song “Prayed for You” by Matt Stell reminds Brandy of her RN to MSN journey every time she hears it on the radio. For Brandy, no mountain is ever too big. 

Obtaining a graduate degree means many different things to everyone. Our own backgrounds, perceptions, and experiences influence how we may feel about our education. A popular country song reminds me of my journey every time I hear it on the radio. 

“Prayed for You” by Matt Stell is a song that always makes me think of where I am today. While the song expresses one’s hope of finding their lifelong companion, there is also the hope for the opportunities that are yet to come. There is one particular phrase in that song that stands out to me. “If I need a mountain moved, I will move it myself” grabs my attention every time I hear it. I feel it, and I say, “This is me”. 

Coming from a less than ideal childhood, I struggled to obtain my associate’s degree. It was a proud moment. I worked full time and cared for two small children. However, being one of the few individuals in my family with a degree, I had a great support group. 

After many of life’s trials and tribulations, I decided to go back and pursue my next degree; A Master’s of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Administration and Leadership. My children were older, and I still had my support group. Little did I know then that over a five-year span, I would lose some of my greatest cheerleaders—three of my grandparents, the ones who really encouraged me, we gone. However, while their physical bodies were gone, their teachings were not. I carried on. 

Then, with less than a year left, I lost my son to suicide. My world stopped in that moment. I did not want to wake up, let alone go to school. I tried to move forth as I did not want to find myself stuck in my grief. I began my next course as it was scheduled. And I failed every paper and assignment that I turned in. 

Knowing this was not good for my mental health, I dropped the course. That’s when the struggle began. Why am I doing this? Do I need it? Is it worth everything I am going through? I struggled with the desire to quit and the desire to continue. This is where those lyrics I mentioned come into play. If I want a mountain moved, I will move it myself. 

I finally convinced myself that I am not a quitter. That my grandparents, who were so proud, would not want me to quit. That my son, if he were still here, would be cheering me on. So I got myself together and started moving that mountain. 

I returned to work within a week of losing my son. Not because my job required me to. But because I knew I did not want to sit in those walls of my house. I might never make it out. So I threw myself into my work. Nursing is a career that is a true part of us. Caring for others provides healing to ourselves. I can honestly say that my job saved me. I would not be where I am today if not for nursing. 

I plan to use my degree to advance further and support the current and future generations of nurses. Leadership in nursing is imperative in our ever-changing healthcare. We must all do our part to ensure great outcomes and healthy nurses. 

I would say, never give up. No mountain is ever too big. If you can’t move it, then climb it or seek an alternate route.

We are very proud of Brandy (RN to MSN) and looking forward to future updates. 

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