Editor’s Note: Today’s story continues with the fifth installment with one Mighty Nurse as we walk with her through her nursing adventure. New stories in this series will be published on the second Tuesday of every month. The first part of the series can be found here, Walk with me- it’s just the beginning.
And all good things come to an end…..
Our winter break draws to a close, and I reflect back on finals week, my flight back home to Portland, Oregon, my time with friends and family, and my journey back to The Burgh.
I swore I would never fly during the holidays, but I can’t imagine not having the down time and re-connecting with the people I love.
It was a wonderful rest and, if a bit hectic, it gave me some much-needed inspiration.
I haven’t made many friends in this program, largely due to age discrepancies; but it was very heartening to be around all the people back home who know me well and know why I am doing this and what I want to do when I am finished.
Finals were a mild experience for me.
I think others who have less of a background in medicine were operating at a higher stress level.
I found the exams to be reasonable and equal to the other exams throughout the term.
The professors were quite kind when it came to other assignments and activities which balanced out the exams as far as grades were concerned.
It was more a rite of passage for most of us.
Did you make it through the first term of hoops and more hoops and more hoops and lectures and clinical experiences and these things called patients and their vast uncharted territory of symptoms and manifestations and noises and bodily fluids?
Did you get the first taste and not balk?
Did you make it through fifteen weeks of this and come out the other side still wanting to be a nurse?
For four of us, the answer was no.
And for a second degree program, I was a bit surprised.
I am also a bit surprised to hear that several people I keep frequent company with are still saying, “I’m still not sure this is for me.”
I can understand that being a common sentiment in first-time undergraduate students.
Even for some community college associate’s degree RN students.
There is less on the line. It is easier to work that into a life, a family, another job.
But an accelerated second degree BSN is something to be taken seriously. It is a lot of money.
It is a complete life change for at least one year, and many times 18 months.
So to hear people still voicing uncertainty, if seems as if they didn’t get the memo that this is serious business, and the amount of money involved is a serious indicator of that.
But in any case … most of us are back for more.
We slammed right into Pathophysiology of the Renal and Immune systems on a Thursday and Friday, and we have our first exam on Monday.
This weekend has seen a lot of book time, and a lot of flash cards and assimilation of information … with a small break for a trip to the gym somewhere in there.
For my own part, I am just happy to be looking at three clinical days out of the week this term.
My group is assigned to a telemetry floor for the first few weeks, and the second half we will be spending in the Trauma ICU: The Holy Grail, as far as I’m concerned.
I am inspired anew.
I hope it will be the intense learning experience that I expect, and that I will be better prepared to handle anything and everything after being in that environment.
We will be giving medications now, and even I am scared about that.
The responsibility begins … And for the rest of our careers as nurses, I never ceases to exist.
Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are always responsible for our actions and our judgment.
But this is what we came here for … the extraneous classes area behind us … Let the nursing begin!