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Fourth Generation Nurse Earns Her BSN and MSN Online with Sights Set on a PhD

May 1, 2013 — Veronica_Weaver“I’m married to nursing and my daughter,” said single mother and fourth generation nurse Veronica Weaver, who earned her BSN in 2009 and her MSN in 2011, both from Drexel University Online.

“It was an amazing journey. I loved the flexibility and diversity of the classes,” Weaver said. “We were from diverse backgrounds. We were from all over the country and we were all doing different things. We were at different places in our lives and yet, we were able to share ideas. I think that’s one of the things the online programs lends themselves to: allowing creativity and the exchange of ideas.”

Weaver currently works as an Acute Care Case Manager at the Broward Health Medical System in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She lives with her mother, a retired Registered Nurse First Assistant, and her daughter, who is in Indiana State University Online's LPN to BSN Program and the fifth generation in their family to pursue a path in nursing. “It’s genetic,” Weaver said.

Weaver did not initially want to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps by becoming a nurse. “I never wanted to be a nurse. I was an oil trader. I was as far away from nursing as I could be,” she said. When Veronica started working at Wellspan Health in 1996, however, she encountered co-workers who inspired her to pursue an RN via Drexel University Online. 

“There’s not a structure where you go into a classroom, you’re given a book, you’re going to take a test, and that’s it,” Weaver said. “Drexel’s online program was really about helping us expand our knowledge base in ways we hadn’t thought of by using the diversity of all of the students and the instructors to guide and explore rather than saying we’re going from point A to point B.”

After receiving her MSN from Drexel University Online, Weaver took a two year break from school, during which time she realized that she enjoys teaching and wants to take her nursing education to the next level. She plans to enroll in Drexel University Online one more time to earn her DNP degree.

“I see students coming out [of school] and I don’t think they’re getting the practical knowledge they need. They’re getting a lot of theory, so when they get to the floor they’re lost and disillusioned and overwhelmed,” Weaver said. “Nursing isn’t about just checking off boxes on an assessment or passing pills. That’s not what nursing is. I think that we need to look at a different way of educating nursing students,” she continued.

Weaver believes that a nursing curriculum should start clinical training during the first year and that students should have mentors in the clinical setting that they can approach with questions throughout their schooling. “You want mentors that really have a vested interest in bringing out the nurse that is inside that student and in empowering them from day one.” 

Weaver’s ultimate career ambition is to one day teach for Drexel University because she wants to be one of the instructors to bring out in other potential nurses what Drexel brought out in her.

“Drexel crosses a void with the technology and, as a result, 30 students from across 15 or 20 different states know each other, know their kids’ names, know where they work, what they do and what they think about something. That’s just phenomenal to me,” Weaver said.

Weaver will be relocating with her mother to Washington D.C. in the next year to be closer to her three brothers, who all work with the military in the Pentagon.

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