It is no surprise that Giang Vu decided to become a nurse. She comes from a family that has made health care its business. Among her first cousins alone, there are 10 physician and dentists. Her father became a nurse when he completed his nursing degree last year. And now Vu is in MNU’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (ABSN).

The opportunity to provide healing, education and companionship to patients is what drew Vu to nursing as a career. Starting out at the University of Kansas Vu initially followed the family career path and sought a pre-med degree in biology. During her junior year she says she realized her “heart wasn’t in it,” but was too far along in her major to change.

After college Vu became a dental assistant in a pediatric dental practice, thinking that dental school was an option.

“I fell in love with the patient interactions and performing patient education,” she said.

Ultimately she realized that a nursing career held the greatest appeal.

“Nursing will allow me to have the same patient interaction and education that I found appealing in dental assisting,” she says. It provides the holistic approach to serving others.”

Opportunities for graduate level education and career growth in nursing was also a factor in her choice.

“I can get my master’s or doctorate in nursing and go into many different fields,” she states. “The higher and varied levels of education were what clinched the deal for me.”

Vu’s future goals include medical missions work. Most of her family members went on medical missions to Third World countries early in their careers. Now they are settled with families and successful practices.

“I am hoping to someday soon gather all my family, health care professionals and all, to revive medical missions again.”

The daughter and granddaughter of Vietnam War refugees who escaped to the U.S. in 1975, Vu says Vietnam is a dream destination for her mission work.

“I would love to go to Vietnam, to the villages where my parents grew up, and provide whatever care I can with my BSN,” she asserts. “The villages are still very poor and have limited access to health care. That is my ultimate dream as to what I will do with my BSN.”

A nursing career and mission travel abroad is not far off for Vu since the ABSN program only takes one year to complete. Most students in the program already have a bachelor’s degree or are close to completing one when they enroll. Studies are intense as students take up to 24 credit hours in each of three semesters during the year, and are in classes or labs for 26 to 36 hours per week. Students also spend five or more hours in study per day in addition to classes and labs. More information may be found at www.mnu.edu/nursing.