Even though Esther Vesely said she had nursing “in my veins,” she didn’t initially follow that path in life.  However, her story proves it’s never too late to change course and pursue your career ambitions.

A 2019 nursing graduate from Houston Christian University, Vesely now works in the same field her mother did, providing care for others and feeling fulfilled after many years spent in hotel management.

Her journey toward a more rewarding career started when she realized she wanted to attend a faith-based university. Her search led her to HCU’s Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner degree, where the program provided the educational experience she wanted.

“The FNP program has equipped me with discipline, courage, knowledge, and made me feel more responsible and empathetic for the patients that I encountered in the past two years, and the ones that I will meet in the years to come,” Vesely said in a recent interview.

As for the rewards of the job, Vesely said: “I like that my patients love me as much I love them every day. Nursing is a mutual reward.”

 Making the Switch to Nursing

Vesely grew up learning about the nursing profession. Her mom worked as a nurse and Vesely enjoyed seeing how she cared for patients who needed her “in a great and affectionate way.” Seeing her mother’s devotion to the job sparked an interest in nursing.

However, when the time came to choose a career path, Vesely opted for hotel management, where she worked for 15 years. The job also had a strong component of customer service and care, but Vesely felt unsatisfied.

“Something was missing. I needed more. I realized that I was not completely satisfied in my job and that I needed to give more to others. I needed to love more,” Vesely said.

The birth of her two children helped change her life’s direction. Vesely said she enjoyed her stay at the hospital and the nursing care she and her children received.

“Something clicked, and I realized that is what I wanted to be, a loving and professional nurse who brings care and love to other people. Moreover, my mom is a nurse, and I loved seeing people calling and coming to my house to receive her advice or loving care. Nursing is in my veins!”

Hybrid Education at HCU

Vesely felt good about her decision to enroll in the faith-based online nursing program at HCU from her very first interactions with HCU staff. HCU representatives had “affection” and “are all very professional,” she said.

Vesely’s faith played a significant part in her decision to attend HCU. She said she feels God brought her to a faith-based university and that the faith of people on the HCU staff made her feel welcome.

HCU delivers its courses in a hybrid online and hands-on clinical format. Once she got into the program in 2017, Vesely found the online experience worked well. She liked the ability to interact with professors and that any questions she had at the beginning of the course received answers.

“I loved the online aspect of the program since it offered me exquisite flexibility. I was able to continue to work and fit my hobbies and course work easily around my busy, but very organized, schedule,” Vesely said. “The online course gave me the freedom where I can study in my own environment – home, cafés, in the hospital lobby – and interact with my instructor and classmates at my own pace.”

The school also worked with students during Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Houston area just two weeks after class started. Professors postponed assignments and students had the chance to deal with any issues caused by widespread flooding.

Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner: A Life-Changing Experience

Asked if the program had changed her life, Vesely said: “Yes, of course. A program of this caliber makes you stronger, more professional, more enduring, more perseverant, and makes you respect more the work of the family nurse practitioner.”

She also said her family has made sacrifices for her in the past two years, “and that has shown me how much they love me.”

She also said HCU has provided her with a “spiritual learning experience that has guided my wonderful peers and I, with the help of Jesus Christ, who has always been my landmark, through this challenging, but embracing journey.”