The Life of a Nurse
I wanted to thank you for changing my life forever. You had no idea that you had done anything that day. Well, you didn’t do any of the work, your mom did it all. You changed my life forever the day that you were born. So, thank you! You do not know that you did, nor at this point do you understand how you did this. However, someday I will tell you this story with much gratitude and you will understand the difference that one person can make.
I peered through the glass window into the fluorescently lighted room at the rows and rows of babies. I stared up at the man holding his little girl with all the pride in the world. I watched the nurses floating around the room checking on each little one, ensuring that they were sufficiently tucked in and warm.
I remember this day so vividly. It was June 27, 2006. I was at the hospital visiting you, Molly. You were just a squishy ball of baby. I looked at your dad holding you so proudly. I was 8 years old. That day forever changed my life. In that single moment, I decided that I wanted to become a nurse.
At the young age of 8, I had no idea what that would entail. Or even that eleven years later I would be accepted into nursing school with a mere three weeks until I start. That is the beginning and the end of the story, so let me tell you how I got here.
It was my first semester of my junior year of high school, when I took a Regional Occupational Program class in Introduction to Healthcare Occupations. In the class, we met twice a week for about 4 hours at a time. In the class, we learned the basics of vital signs and medicine. We studied different diseases and pharmaceutical drugs.
The class, taught by two LVNs’, who showed a brief glimpse of what life would be like in nursing school. However, we were warned that it would be much harder. As someone who wanted to go into the health field, this class absolutely solidified my decision. On the first day of class, one of the teachers asked me if I would be able to handle the class because I was a homeschooled student.
When I retold the story to my mom, she looked at me and said, “Susan, you now know you have to get the best grade in the class.” And so, I listened to my mom’s instructions and I received the best grade in the class, as well as the award, The Most Outstanding Student. During that semester, I was sure I wanted to go into nursing, so I graduated a year early from high school to get a head start on my prerequisites for nursing.
In my first semesters at college, I was put on the waitlist for the first science class that was the gateway to take all other science classes. I was number 20/20 on the list. I went every class period for three weeks and turned in every piece of homework before the teacher added me after the add deadline. I had to fight to get into all my science classes because the classes were so impacted.
This past semester, while waiting to get into nursing school I took an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class. It was an eight-unit class, that met for eight hours a week with 28 hours of clinical hours. The teacher warned us the class would be very difficult. I basically told myself that this was a trial run for nursing school.
If I could succeed in this I could succeed in nursing school. I ended the class with a 96% in the class and the top grade in the course. With each and every obstacle, I had to overcome it solidified my decision more and more that I was making the right choice of going to nursing school.
The more I had to fight at every step of the way and triumph made me realize that I could really do this. I can do nursing school! And, I can do well in nursing school. I remind myself this every day when I get worried about nursing school. Nursing school is not a challenge that I cannot face. I can overcome this and thrive.
To close out, Victoria, I have finished my first semester in nursing school at College of the Canyons (COC). It has been such an amazing journey so far. This past semester has taught me so much about how to be a great nurse and has also taught me so much about myself. My professors have taught me how to think like a nurse and helped me to find the courage to become the best nurse possible.
I will graduate from COC with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) when you turn thirteen. Also, I am applying to universities to do a collaborative program, so I can concurrently get my ADN with my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN). I would like to work in a children’s hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
I want to help premature babies get the chance that they deserve to live a wonderful and healthy life. I am so passionate about making a difference in each little life that were not supposed to be even born yet. Eventually, I would like to continue my education with my Master’s Degree in Nursing. With this, I would like to teach nursing at a community college.
I feel like in this way I would be able to give back to a community college that did so much for me. All my professors at school have been so inspiring and encouraging as I pursue my dreams. I would one day like to encourage future students like I have been stimulated. Who knows, maybe someday the tables will turn and I will inspire you to pursue a career in medicine.
Anytime you have any questions, I am always here for you. Even though I decided at age eight I wanted to be a nurse, I was unsure about for a couple of years in there. It is perfectly normal to be unsure of what you want. But you will find your place in this world, and I will stand by your side helping you find it. This is my journey to becoming a registered nurse, I know you will find your path!