Sarah Mulder had a bachelor’s degree in intercultural studies from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. But she was looking for more in her career.
“I wanted job security, paid time off, good health benefits, a decent salary and opportunities for career advancement,” Mulder said. “On a personal level, I wanted to enjoy what I do for a living, and caring for people during some of their most vulnerable moments would be very rewarding for me. Nursing ticked all of those boxes.”
She chose UToledo because it offered a unique, accelerated program: the Graduate-Entry Master of Science in Nursing.
“Once I knew I wanted to pursue nursing, I started researching programs,” Mulder said. “I didn’t think a licensed practical nurse to registered nurse program best suited my needs, and I knew I didn’t want to go through another bachelor’s program. When a friend mentioned UToledo’s Graduate-Entry Master’s Program, I knew it would be the school for me.
“Toledo’s location also meant that I could commute, and this unique program meant that I could pursue a new career in nursing while also leveling up and obtaining a master’s degree.”
And on May 6, she will graduate with her master of science in nursing degree.
Getting to this moment, when she hears her name and walks across the stage, has not been easy, Mulder said.
“Only people who have gone through nursing school know how demanding it is. Not only is this program a masters-level program, but it is also accelerated. I went from knowing nothing about healthcare to being a professional registered nurse in less than 20 months,” she said. “In addition to the challenging program and material, I’m also a full-time, single mom of two boys.
“Juggling my studies, my hour and 20-minute commute, their needs, homework, holidays and keeping a home has been incredibly challenging. From this I’ve learned that there really isn’t anything I can’t do if I put my mind to it. The confidence I have gained in myself through my time at UToledo cannot be expressed. I’m very grateful for the experience — and excited to start the next phase of my life.”
“When I think of a resilient hardworking student, I think of Sarah,” said Dr. Holly Myers, an assistant professor in the UToledo College of Nursing. “Sarah has overcome so many obstacles in life and has worked hard to reach her goal of becoming a nurse and while doing that she was a positive role model for her children and family.”
Added Dr. Kelly Philips, associate dean for Faculty Affairs and director of the Graduate-Entry M.S.N. Program: “Sarah is an advocate for herself, her colleagues and her patients. She has consistently demonstrated a willingness to adapt and grow throughout the Graduate-Entry Master’s Program.”
After graduation, Mulder said she plans on becoming a labor and delivery nurse.
“I have asked myself, ‘What patient population would I be able to wake up for every single day, and be excited to care for?’ For me, that’s pregnant/laboring people and their newborns.”