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Sarah Luger, BSN ’13, MSN ’19, had always known she’d pursue an advanced degree. The question was When would she do it?

“I knew I wanted to go back to school [when] graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Baker,” she said. “I enjoy learning and recognize that knowledge is empowering.”

Initially, Lueger had planned to start a family before returning to school to earn a master’s degree. But experiencing two miscarriages led her to conclude there was no right time. So she decided to take the plunge and return to school.

When researching schools for a master’s degree, Lueger was unaware that Baker would soon launch a Master of Science in Nursing program. She stumbled on the announcement while ordering her transcripts for another school. It was fate.

“I got in contact with [retired program director] Dr. Carol Moore and submitted my application that week,” Lueger said.

Lueger began classes in January 2016, one of the first students in the program, and just a month later received a welcomed surprise.

“I found out I was expecting my son in February of the same year,” she said. “Three years later, I have a 2.5-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter who were both born while I was completing my degree. It was a challenging but rewarding three years.”

While balancing motherhood, her work schedule, and school, Lueger found that family support was key.

“It was tough, particularly while balancing a family as well,” Lueger said. “I am lucky enough to have a supportive family and work group that allowed me to work towards my goal of receiving a master’s degree without question.”

Lueger chose the track in nursing administration and graduated in May 2019. She said she can already see the efforts of her hard work paying off in her job at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System in Topeka.

“My degree allows for growth within my current position as a nursing leader at the VA,” she said. “I’ve also been in contact with the Baker nursing faculty about a future career in nursing education. It also allowed for wonderful networking opportunities with the completion of my practicum at Stormont Vail.”

Lueger is thankful she chose Baker School of Nursing twice. Earning her MSN built on the nursing knowledge she gained in the BSN program by giving her the skills to become an adept leader.

“My experience was wonderful,” she said. “Through a combination of real-life experience during my practicum and application of theory throughout each semester, I feel as if I am more prepared to lead the employees I supervise and apply the knowledge I have gained when making effective change.”

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