Finding support to juggle family, career and grad school

Towson University nursing graduate student Joe Santopietro finds flexibility in the nursing master’s program.

TU grad student Joe Santopietro

Graduate student, father of three and full-time nurse claims faculty support and program flexibility are helping him attain his dreams.

Joe Santopietro is a busy man.

Not only is he pursuing his master’s degree in nursing while working as a full-time nurse at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), but he is also dad to three kids, ages four and under.

“The whirlwind of life,” says Santopietro, is a challenge, but it’s exciting.”

Making it possible to juggle it all, says the diaper-changing pro, is the flexibility and support he has found in the TU Department of Nursing.

“They always support your family; they support your dreams; they support your goals.”

When Santopietro’s wife was recovering from a c-section and he couldn’t make it to class, nursing faculty accommodated the family by enabling him to attend via video chat. (They also insisted on getting a view of the new baby.)

The hour commute to Towson University can be a strain, but Santopietro is happy to do it.

“The instructors make me feel like closing the distance is very possible,” he says, “not only by the way that they care, but by the passion they have for their teaching.”

They always support your family. They support your dreams. They support your goals. ”

Joe Santopietro

With time at a premium, Santopietro also appreciates the guidance he receives that helps him stay laser focused on his aspirations.

“It’s goal-oriented and directed teaching,” says Santopietro, describing how faculty, such as Associate Professor Kathleen Ogle, set him on a course from the very beginning to work toward a culminating project.

“They say, ‘Do you want to be there? We’ll show you how to get there,’” he adds. “You realize there’s a path you can follow.”

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