Nursing was not Norman Bisda’s first choice of a major, but he overcame many obstacles and tenaciously fought his way into the nursing program at the University of Central Florida. See how God opened doors and why Norman loves being a student leader of the NCF chapter at UCF.
I started college undecided about my major so I took architecture, arts, pharmacy, and then nursing. I was halfway through an Architecture degree and also acquired my Associates Degree in Graphic Design when I considered nursing as a career.
My church has a weekly ministry of visiting nursing homes and I volunteered with some RN friends. I saw how God used them effectively, and I started to find that calling in nursing that I was lacking in years of trying out different study fields and being indecisive about my major. Was I doing this again?
But this time, it was completely different. I was aware that my degree audit would completely contradict my desire to shift into nursing. However, nursing was more like a discovery to me, a newfound place where I can serve God and expand his kingdom. In the past, I searched in the wrong places with wrong intentions. But when I chose nursing, I did not focus on seeking my own degree; instead, I needed to seek God first. I wanted to focus more on the Giver, not the gift. This way, I knew I could rely on God’s guidance to straighten my direction in everything I do in life.
A Test of Faith
When I applied in the nursing program at UCF, it was a great test of faith. Starting a nursing major required some prerequisite courses of two years. Hundreds of students applied, and when I heard the counselor discuss other factors, my chances of getting in got slimmer and slimmer. After two months, Letters of Acceptance were sent to applicants who made it into the program. I did not receive one.
I was placed on a waiting list, so I kept bugging the registration personnel because I could get in if someone did not RSVP about the acceptance letter. She said, “We have 75 people on the waiting list, and you are somewhere in the middle. So far, all the students have accepted.”
I still asked her about the requirements before an accepted student could start the program. One of the requirements was to have a CPR certification. I took the class and when I picked up my CPR card, I again asked the receptionist about the waiting list. She said, “The waiting list has been closed since last week, and we have all the students we need. The class is full.”
My heart was crushed, and my prayers were shaken a bit, but I never stopped trusting God.
The God of Closed Doors
Two weeks before Orientation Day, I called the admission personnel, and it was still “No.” A week later, I received a phone call. “Norman, this is not a sure thing, but if you can finish all the requirements (CPR, background check, drug test, etc.), I can let you go to the orientation next week. I am giving you five days to finish these requirements. Remember, it is not a sure thing. If a student does not show up in the mandatory orientation, you can take that place. Last year, there was one student no-show.”
I was able to finish all my requirements and I went to the orientation. One of the faculty members approached me halfway through and said, “I am sorry, Norman. Everyone showed up today, but stay around, someone might still go home.” At the end of the orientation, no one went home.
The admission representative called me. She said, “Everyone showed up, Norman, but good news! The board decided to squeeze you in as an extra student. You earned it. I saw how you really wanted to get in, and it paid off.”
At that moment I knew God put me through it to see how much I really wanted this shift into nursing. Faith and prayer really pays off. And now, I am in my last semester and getting ready for my graduation.
Glory be all to God; praise the Lord!
Norman Bisda is a senior nursing student and NCF leader at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. He is originally from the Philippines and came to the USA ten years ago. He likes painting, drawing, singing and songwriting. He loves Bible stories and endless praise and worship sessions.
Read more about Norman’s experience as a leader of his NCF chapter in the article, Learning to Trust God.