My whole life I have thought of doing nothing more than becoming a registered nurse (RN). I have racked my brain of other professions I might like doing but they all sounded boring and not like me. Yeah of course I questioned if nursing was right for me and if I had made a mistake not considering doing something else. I think that it is just human to question stuff like that, especially if it is a life impacting decisions. However, going through nursing school and working in the clinical setting it showed me that this was my calling and I didn’t make a mistake.
Nursing School Story
So how did I get there: Right after I graduated high school, I applied for college at a local university in my area. It had a wonderful nursing program and I figured I would knock out 2 years of regular core classes (which I am glad those silly classes are over) and apply to their nursing school that spring semester. They had a very strict selection process and only a selected amount got in. They select you by your GPA that you had those previous two years. Mine was quite high so I had no problem getting in but I was always stressing the “what if”. I got in and was very excited!
During that time, I had many things going on in my life. I got married to my husband (who was also in college), moved out to an apartment, and we managed to keep all of our bills paid while attending college full time. Very stressful at times but hey it was manageable. If I had to do it again I would!
Classes in Nursing School
I started my first semester of nursing school during the spring of my sophomore year. During this semester, I took pathophysiology, a communication class, health assessment, and introduction into professional nursing. The hardest class of these was Patho. I don’t know if it was the teacher I had or what but that class was a doozy. If you don’t know what patho is, it is where you study a million diseases that can affect the human body and how it does this at lthe cellular level (meaning you have to know every single detail about it). Let’s just say this class definitely taught me how to study. This class “weeded” many people out of the nursing program. Also, during this semester I did not have any clinicals, which I thought I would have before I entered but we didn’t. It was just all lectures! I was very happy when this semester ended and I had the summer to rest until the fall semester started.
So school started back that fall in August and I was ready to get my feet wet with my clinicals. I was entering the beginning of my junior semester. I was very excited about it. I loved the idea of getting my first pair of official nursing scrubs. I felt like I was finally making headway on my nursing degree. I had waited my whole life to get to this point and dreamed of the day I was in actual nursing school working in clinicals. During this semester, I took these classes: Foundations of Nursing, Pharmacology, and Nursing Theory & Research. Along with my foundations of nursing class, I had to do clinical work where I got a separate grade.
This was my very first clinical experience and I liked it. I was on a Medical Surgical floor. This is where you see about a little of everything and I worked with patients 18 and older. During my time there, we were given one patient that we had to pick the night before and do a care plan on them. Aren’t those darn care plans so much fun =-) We would have to go the night before at 5:00 at night get our patient’s information and come home and do a 5-6 hours care plan and then get up at 5:00 in the morning to hear report at 6:30am. Not a lot of sleep!
During the clinical time, we were responsible for everything for the patient that day which included the following: vital signs, baths, bed changes, medications, documentations, diapering (if needed), wound care, specimen collection, NG tube care/Feeding (very cool), and a whole bunch of other stuff (all of this of course under the supervision of our instructor). Also during this time I gave my first shot to a real person because you know all you get to do in the practice lab is give shots to pretend dummies. Looking back on this clinical experience, I learned a lot and it helped me in my lecture.
Now to the semester I just got finish with which was the last semester of my junior year in the spring of 2008. This semester was the hardest and busiest semester I have ever had in my life. I don’t know if I would do it over again because it was that bad. However, I knew this semester was going to be bad because many nursing students before me told me if I could get through this semester it would be like going down hill after that and BAM you will be graduating before you know it. That was the only thing that kept me going. Here is why:
During this semester I had a told of 18 credits hours (the max our school lets you take without dean approval is 19 credit hours because it is so hard to manage). I was taking these classes: OB lecture with an OB clinical, Mental Health lecture with Mental Health clinical, Peds lecture with a Peds clinical. All of these counted as separate grades. So it was like I had six different classes. Then if that wasn’t enough at the end of the semester I had to pass a make or break your nursing school career HESI test. We were required to take the HESI which covered everything that we had learned up to this point. So I had to recover and remember everything I had did a previous brain dump on in order to pass this beast of a take. We were required to score at least an 850 on it and we had only 3 tries to do it and if you didn’t, you were out.
During this semester I studied my butt off, completed my clinical hours, cried many times from all the pressure, and passed the HESI on the first try. I bought an awesome book that helped me do it , which I will post all about in my need post coming up in the next weeks. My hardest class during this time was Peds and it was probably because I was not interested in working with that population but I do love kids but not sick ones. My favorite clinical was OB. I get to see a live vaginal and c-section birth , which was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I thought I would hate my Mental clinical but I actually liked it. It is not like how you see it in the horror movies. Hollywood plays it up way too much!
So here, I am now sitting on my couch, thanking God that I got through that semester and letting you know how I ended up in nursing school and where I am now. At this point, I am just enjoying my summer break, which will end August 25th. However, I am ready for it to start back because it is my last year and after that no more school ever. I have told everyone I will never ever go back to school. I will be very content with my BSN degree. So if you got any questions ask me and I will try to answer them! Until next time………