So, yeah, meet me. I’m the old woman who didn’t live in a shoe (ok, a small condo!), but decided after 15 years out of school, to go back for my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing…
OK, back up. First of all, I never wanted to be a nurse.
I was doing CNA work as a teenager. Never wanted to be a nurse. Joined the military, since my dear old dad had and it seemed like well, something to teach me discipline, help me see the world, etc. I saw Missouri for a few years. Wow. Did get my first college degree while in the Air Force; in criminal justice. Yeah, I wanted to be a lawyer, or a private investigator. I wanted to be Nancy Drew. Or Ally Mcbeal. I never wanted to be a nurse.
I got out of the military and came home. Came back to being a CNA, a job that I enjoyed and was good at. Didn’t want to be a nurse. Took some random, basic further classes, because at that point I knew I didn’t want to be in criminal justice. Took history, and Nevada constitution (requirement), and English literature, etc. And somehow, somewhere in this time of random schooling, and never wanting to be a nurse, while being a CNA, I wanted to become a nurse. I would love to know when the light bulb went off, but I have no clue.
So I went through pre-requisites and a nursing program that makes you want to want to kill yourself (or others), and proudly became a nurse. Though the first year or so were rough seas, I found myself and my purpose, my passion and my reward.
Then come about 14 or 15 years later, looking through nursing journals and such, the reality is that there are many places that are only hiring Bachelor’s degree nurses. So I thought, well, for job portability, maybe I should go back to school. While I have never been bad in school, the long non-school interim made it frustrating, and my innate laziness made it a bit of a challenge! 🙂
During the midst of the Bachelor’s program, I lost my long-held full time job. Continuing on while working per-diem, and looking for a new full time job for the first time in 14 years made the challenge even bigger. Other changes in life, personal growth, changes in relationships, strengthening of family bonds, and rediscovery of my passion for nursing, and placing myself in a new, challenging environment, made the self-discovery and growth exponential.
Towards the end of the Bachelor’s program, I came to realize that holding that degree really wasn’t going to do squat for me in terms of my future. I was pushing 20 years in nursing at this point, and knew that my body may or may not let me be a bedside nurse for another 20+ years. If I wanted a viable fall-back plan, I would need a Master’s degree.
So after a shorter break of about 8 months, I went back into schooling, working towards a Master’s degree in Nursing Education. Inadvertently, I had picked a program that gave no breaks between classes; one class would end on a Wednesday, the next would start on Thursday. A 2-week break for Christmas; that’s it. Papers, team projects, reading expensive text books, etc etc etc.
Mid-way through my education practicum, about 4 months ago, I hit the wall of being “DONE” mentally with it all. Brain-fried. Sure, it’s a medical diagnosis! (well, it should be). I was quite sick of it all, and ready to never read another thing. Or, alternatively, never read another thing that has to do with nursing, education, or any form of combining the two.
The last 7 weeks I’ve been in my final course. Unrelenting assignments, research, discussion questions, papers. I have been beyond the medical diagnosis of brain-fried. I’ve been life-fried. I’ve been sick, I’ve been tired, I’ve been sick & tired! I’ve been re-orienting back at my per-diem job that I’ve started back up one day a week; I’ve been working full time; I’ve been trying to house train a spazzy little puppy and dealing with the insolence of kitties who disapprove of pup! I’ve been trying to keep up with family, with friends, trying to find some degree of life in all of this work/school/work/school/work/school that has been my life. I not only hated school at this point; I was like a walking wall of hatred! I hated anything that crossed my path, including myself in the mirror. This was not going well with my “peace, love and happiness” life vibe I’ve been trying to hang on to at this point in my life.
A few days ago, I turned in a 36-page final paper. Earlier today, I turned in my final PowerPoint presentation. One week left of the discussion questions and whatnot; but assignments and insanity are done. No more hoops to jump through. And I’m beyond the point of caring how I actually do on these assignments (well, other than passing the damn class; not passing would suck!) It’s wickedly amusing, how this torture was self-inflicted, and yet, I’m so thrilled to be reaching the end that I thought would never come.
Welcome to the light at the end of the tunnel, friends! Welcome to the end of my moody bitchiness! And welcome to a life of smiles, relief, and great happiness!