Nursing school is no small feat. I am pretty sure it is the hardest thing I have volunteered to take part in.
My journey into nursing started off slowly. I began taking prerequisites one class at a time starting back in 2017. I originally thought I wanted to go to PA School, but after doing my research, a career in nursing had more options and ironically became more appealing to me. After completing my prerequisites, I applied to a few Accelerated BSN programs. I was accepted to three schools and everything aligned well for me to attend the University of New England.
I graduated from the University of New England’s Accelerated Nursing Program on May 16, 2020! This program was 16 months long and one of the most stressful things I had encountered in my lifetime so far. It was stressful because it challenged me in ways I didn't know I could be challenged. School was always something I was great at. When I got to nursing school, well, I had to work harder than ever before, just to be ok. There were many times where I thought maybe nursing was not for me. Despite my ego being crushed many times along the way, I persevered and am so proud of myself for coming out of the other end stronger.
The saying, "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger" has never been more true. Relocating my family to Portland, Maine and then having to endure many nights of no sleep, hard work, dedication, and adventure was not a small feat. There were good days, bad days and in-between days. Anxiety and insomnia became my new normal. In the end, I graduated with honors and even won the Roderick Community Health Nursing Scholarship. I will forever be thankful for that scholarship. It funded my final semester and lessened my financial worries immensely. Nursing school taught me to trust the process. No matter what that looks like for anyone starting a new journey. You have to be in the moment and trust yourself.
"...Third time's a charm"
After graduation, my next hurdle was NCLEX. I had originally scheduled my exam for the last day of June. As the big day got closer, I decided to reschedule. I finally felt good about and kept the date I picked on my third time of rescheduling. Sounds crazy right?, but I just didn't feel ready. I did not want to sit for a life changing exam with doubts running the show. I was still working on having the right mindset. I was filled with negative thoughts and by the time I rescheduled for a third time, I finally felt positive about the exam.
At 6:30am on Saturday, July 18th 2020, I sat for my NCLEX exam. When I got to question #60, I knew it could either make or break me. I was given another question and instead of feeling sad or anxious, I knew I was still in the game. At least that is what all the videos I watched said. At question #61, I told myself to stay focused. After answering 1,400 Kaplan practice questions... 2,185 UWorld practice questions and taking the UWorld predictor exam (100 questions). I was ultimately ready to answer all 130 questions on the NCLEX. When I arrived at question #62, my screen went blank. That was probably the only question I was confident about. I knew the answer I picked was correct. The next morning, I was listed on the Maine Board of Nursing as a Registered Nurse. No better feeling. I am a Registered Nurse.
➵ Bachelor of Science in Education (2012) ✔️
➵ Master of Public Health (2015) ✔️
➵Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2020) ✔️
➵ ...to be continued...
"The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough"
—Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
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For my student followers, how is your school journey going? What challenges have you faced that you thought was impossible to get through? Regardless of your major, my only advice is to take it one day at a time.