David and Erin Franklin first met while working at the same restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida, before getting married and having three children. With their own passion and drive for nursing, they both graduated from Palm Beach State College’s RN program before pursuing their BSN at UF Online simultaneously. After beginning their UF Online journey together last year, they are set to graduate this summer from the BSN program.
THEIR PATHS TO NURSING
Erin first embarked on her nursing journey after she had children and decided to use her own personal experiences to help others. “[My nursing journey] began after I had three kids,” she explained. “After the first two, I didn’t have great experiences and so then I decided I wanted to do labor and delivery to become a midwife. I had midwives deliver all three of my kids and so that’s kind of what got me started. I didn’t graduate from nursing school until 2014.”
After witnessing his wife’s nursing journey, David decided to pursue a similar career that brought him joy and excitement. “[Erin] actually inspired me to go to nursing school,” he said. “I always enjoyed hearing stories when she was coming home from work and telling me all the different stuff she was getting to do. It seemed like it was interesting every time she went to work, so that’s kind of why I went into it. I graduated in 2019.” After graduating separately from their RN programs, they wanted to earn their BSN degrees together while balancing parenthood.
“I heard good things about UF in general for the nursing program,” Erin said. “Once we did some research, I believed it was a little more manageable being completely online. Between working full-time, the kids, and both of us doing this together, I felt like this was the best program. I would recommend doing UF Online.”
BECOMING GATOR NURSES TOGETHER
David and Erin were able to balance their busy family life and nursing studies with the convenient structure UF Online offers. “[UF Online] is very flexible,” David said. “That’s the main reason that we chose to do online is because we need the flexibility to be able to study whenever we have off and our kids are always doing things so we have to be able to have a very flexible schedule.” Erin also accredits UF Online’s faculty and staff for enhancing their academic journey. “I think the staff has been great,” she said. “Any questions we have, they’re very flexible with helping, exams, and windows of time where you can take an exam instead of one set day and one set time.”
During the course of their studies, David and Erin had the rare and unique opportunity to go through the nursing program together as husband and wife. “I think that it was beneficial because we could kind of study and bounce things off of each other,” Erin said. “It was a little difficult because with the kids we try to make our schedules opposite of each other so it benefits and is kind of a little more difficult at the same time because we would be off on opposite days.”
“It felt like having a constant study buddy,” Erin described studying with her husband. “He understood and I could understand when he needed to do schoolwork or study. It was a team effort.”
David and Erin also wanted to set an example for their children and show them that hard work and dedication pay off. “I think it’s good for the kids to see,” Erin said. “We’re showing our kids that we did things a little later and we keep saying we always do things backward. We got married, then had kids, then went back to school and I think it’s good for them to see that we’re struggling a little bit with managing everything because it kind of pushes them, hopefully, to do things in the order that might be easier.”
THE JOY OF HEALING
While going through the nursing program together, David and Erin found their own personal motivations for working in the nursing field. For Erin, making a difference in the lives of women and their families during labor and delivery means a lot to her. “I’m happy to be there for whatever the parents or family are going through. Being that advocate is good for my soul. I actually love going to work every day,” Erin said.
“Just helping people,” David shares his favorite part about nursing. “A lot of times I get letters in the mail or I’ll come in after being off for a couple of days and somebody will hand me a card that somebody has written to me, thanking me for helping them. That’s the best part of nursing.”
While their chapter at UF Online is coming to a close, David and Erin are looking eagerly toward the future. “I’m sure we’ll have some kind of celebration,” Erin said. “I know our families are very excited, both of us are the first to graduate college. I also plan on continuing. I’m hoping to start midwifery school next year, so I’ll be going on for my master’s degree at least. That’s my goal.” Meanwhile, David plans on taking a different route within nursing. “I’ll start looking into going to school for nurse practitioner,” he said. “I currently work in an ICU, so I might want to be a critical care nurse practitioner.”
The University of Florida congratulates David and Erin Franklin on their upcoming graduation from UF Online’s RN to BSN program this summer. The entire Gator Nation wishes their family happiness and success as they advance in their nursing careers. This National Nurses Week, UF Online would like to celebrate and thank all nurses who work incredibly hard to take care of others.
EARN A UF DEGREE IN NURSING
The number of RNs earning their BSN degree continues to grow, and now is the time to join the top nurses with this credential. The RN to BSN program from the UF College of Nursing offered via UF Online accepts new applicants every spring semester. With this program, you’ll prepare yourself for leadership opportunities in the nursing field. To learn more about UF Online’s nursing program, visit the degree page or attend an upcoming virtual information session to learn more.