This is the end of the road. Of course I will be going back to school later to get my Master's Degree but that will be totally online. This is the end of the road to get my nursing degree. It's something I always wanted to do, but never really thought I could or would do it.
In the summer of 2012, my husband asked me if I was ready to go back to work. I told him that I was not. He asked what I wanted to do, and I instantly said, "You know. I have always wanted to go to nursing school. There is an RN program right down the road at BC. I want to do that." My husband was so supportive and told me to go for it.
I started out looking online..feeling excited that I had all of the pre-reqs completed to apply for the program in the Spring of 2013. A couple of weeks later, I met with an advisor and was cruelly told that all of my prereqs were out of date and needed to be taken over again. With only one admission cycle per year, this was going to take forever!
But, I started it. I took Medical Terminology in the Fall of 2012...thinking that I was 32 and had been out of college for 11 years and needed to ease into it. The Spring of 2013 I took Anatomy 1 and the Summer I took Anatomy 2. Then in the Fall of 2013 I finished up with Microbiology.
In February 2014, I was finally eligible to apply to the nursing program. I took the entrance exam, and scored well enough that in May, I was in. My first class started in July of 2014 and we chugged along through this May 2016.
It was difficult to say the least. Yes the material was challenging...you are dealing with life and death here. But what I found most challenging was trying to balance family and school. I had a lot of support from my parents and friends, but it was still my biggest hurdle. Being in clinical or class all day, trying to shuttle my kids to after school practices, band concerts, homework sessions, and then settle for my school work after everyone was in bed was tough. There were times I didn't think I would ever finish.
But pulling into the parking lot Saturday, in my cap and gown, checking in and getting this card....
made it so real. I went to the bathroom to adjust my cap and reflected before everyone started streaming in full of nervous excitement.
I did it. By the grace of God and the help of my village, I did it. I'm 36 years old. I'm a mother of two, with one on the Autism spectrum and I did it. I graduated with a 4.0 as well. That is mind boggling to me.
It was hilarious to look at all the people that would be graduating with me. When you graduate, there are people in your same degree plan, and you may know them casually, but it's nothing like being in the nursing program together. We were thrown together two years ago and spent every day, all day together. We were in the hospitals together. We did CPR on patients together. We laughed together, cried together, shared together. We fumbled through our skills only to meet up at lunch almost in tears together. We are tightly knit!
At graduation, most people were keeping to themselves in line. Not the nursing group. We were helping each other pin caps, checking for lipstick on each other's teeth, pulling down sashes, making sure our hair was in place, taking tons of selfies together, encouraging each other, and commenting on how sad we would be next week when we were no longer together.
When it came to the ceremony, we were all in line, sharing, laughing, calming eachother's nerves. When it was our turn to line up, we were the only group to cheer on each person graduating with their nursing degree. We truly supported each other. I am so proud of every person in my program. Watching them walk across the stage was such a treat..to realize what we did together!
I am blessed to know them. I'm thankful they were such a huge part of my life for the past 2 years. I so look forward to hearing about each person's journey. These are my people!
A huge thank you to my husband, kids, parents, and friends for supporting me and loving me through this!