According to Grubaugh, obtaining her PhD was a lesson in endurance. “Life happens and you need to go with the flow.” And “go with the flow” is what Grubaugh did during the nearly five years it took to earn her PhD.
Undergoing a reorganization and job loss at St. Francis Medical Center, then commuting from Colorado Springs to Aurora for a new job at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and working full-time -- all while earning her PhD in Nursing with a focus on Health Care Systems. Prior to enrolling in the PhD program, Grubaugh debated for a long time if she wanted to pursue a doctoral degree.
Her biggest concern was that her husband is in the military, and she did not want to start a program that she couldn’t finish. Having moved several times during married life, the concern was real. In fact, her husband ended up being transferred to Kansas, then deployed for a year and now is back at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs – all while she was completing her PhD. “The beauty of the program is it’s flexible because it’s distance-based,” said Grubaugh. So, the program was perfect as it only required that she come to campus once each semester for “Intensives” where she connected with classmates in person. “The cohort structure is phenomenal. We came together so well. We know each others’ children and husbands, and in fact, have made life-long friendships. The intensives really helped connect with each other.”
Now, what’s next for Grubaugh? After a little well-deserved R & R and some major adjusting to life without classwork, her goal is to continue on the leadership track as a Vice President of Nursing or Chief Nursing Officer.