Three years ago, in March of 2011 I finally admitted my decision to become a nurse. In the three years since then things have been crazy! After a ton of prerequisite classes I was finally admitted into the RN program in August 2013. I have learned so much about myself in this journey, I have learned to be more outgoing along with how to start being a nurse. It is said that most of the learning for nurses takes place after you graduate, and I believe it. We have learned a lot, don’t get me wrong- but I don’t feel ready at all to be a nurse on my own! I graduate in May of 2015, then I take my boards and can officially work as a nurse. I couldn’t be more excited!
My time in the program has been intense, emotional, scary, and one of the hardest journeys I have had to make. Being a mom and a nursing student is by no means easy! My husband helps as much as he can, but his schedule makes it where I do most of the parenting on my own. Now that Taylor is six years old that has been a challenge. She is really coming into her own little personality, and it is a lot like mine! Eeeek! I would like to thank my mother for that, her curse on me that I should one day have a child just like me has come true.
I have found strength in myself with every test, every challenge in the program that I thought I couldn’t overcome. While the classes and information were tough, I think the hardest adjustment for me is the people. For years before I returned to college I was a blogger, a stay at home mom, a wife- I didn’t really interact with people aside from in grocery stores or preschool. The prerequisite classes got me used to dealing with people in general; but a whole new problem happened once I actually got in the program…
I had heard that nursing programs were full of drama, all across the country- but I didn’t believe it, I mean why would people be so cruel to each other when we are all after the same goal? Turns out the rumors were true, sadly I have encountered a lot of this. There is nothing more depressing than feeling ashamed because you did well on a test just because others did not do as well. When we started everyone would share what they made on a test- we were excited! After a few tests though, those of us who were doing well had to start keeping our ‘win’ to ourselves because of the amount of dirty looks and judgement from others. It has been a hard road to go down, and things did get better over time; I think it was a mixture of keeping my score to myself and the fact that the most hurtful classmates happened to fail out of the program along the way.
The clinical experience; where we do hands on training at hospitals; has been wonderful though. I have learned a lot, including what not to do in some cases! I have been able to work in acute settings like the ICU and the emergency room, as well as in medical-surgical units and hospice facilities. I loved the emergency room and the hospice rotation the most, and plan on working in both during the course of my career.
I start my last semester in January; Pediatrics and Obstetrics. Once I survive that semester I will be eligible to take the NCLEX and find a job in nursing. The idea of working as a nurse excites me so much, one of the other hardest parts of nursing school is the money- or lack of it. I am very much tired of being broke, tired of trying to figure out how to fit in groceries and Christmas presents in the same block of money. It will be a welcome change to do all this work and actually get a check instead of paying out for it.
I am loving my journey, hardships and all. It is bringing out strength that I never thought I had. My biggest regret is that I waited so long to begin. Although, I don’t think the twenty year old me could have pulled this off! I will be counting down the hours until May 8th 2015 for sure!