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losing my first "real job" as a teacher ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. i LOVE being a nurse and can't imagine doing anything else. everything DOES happen for a reason.Jun 24, '12 by minnymiI just read a post from a young lady here on allnurses:
our stories are not the same, but i felt for her and could relate in some ways. i thought it would be interesting to know some of your stories about what brought you to nursing, what you had to do to get here, etc...
i went to school to be a teacher. while i was working on that degree i got pregnant...twice. i kept going to school throughout both pregnancies and worked at a daycare where i made minimum wage just so i could get the employee discount to send my children there while i went to class. that's the simple version. it was much more difficult than that. my children's father had asked me to marry him, but i declined. i had turned into "mommy" and he still wanted me to be the cool chick he met who would go out and party with him. i kicked him to the curb. from there on out i was on my own. i got child support every now and then when he had a job and when i could track him down. i woke up at 0430 every morning, got my kids up at 0500, and dropped them off at daycare at 0630 before i went to class which was an hour drive away and class started at 0800. i found a job at a daycare on campus where i could work just in between classes so if i got out of class at 1000 and my next class started at 1200...i would work from 10-12. i would go back to class from 12-2 and then make the hour drive back to my children's daycare where i work from 3-close (1830). i would take my kids home, feed them, bathe them, put them to bed and then do homework. i would go to bed when my work was finished and then do it all again the next day...every day....for 3 years straight. there were so many nights i stayed up until 1-2am doing homework and when my alarm would go off at 0430 i would open my eyes and think, "i can NOT do this today." thankfully, i dragged my butt out of bed and did it anyway. there were many times my kids got sick, my car broke down, and i thought, "i just can't do this." again, i did it.
i ended up graduating (with honors) and got a job at a local elementary school in a position that was funded by a government grant. unfortunately, the grant wasn't renewed after the first year because it was right in the middle of the economy going south, and my position was eliminated. the whole program was eliminated. i thought, "oh, great. everyone kept telling me that education was the answer!" here i did what everyone said i should do...and here i am unemployed and in no better position than i was before. i started looking for jobs and every time i would look for jobs online i had to scroll through page after page of postings hiring RNs or CNAs before i could even get to the others. i started thinking, "maybe i should've been a nurse like everyone told me in the first place." it WAS something i had considered before, but i couldn't imagine going back to school after all i had put my children through already. i felt like i had been kicked in the teeth. i beat the statistics. i was a single mom who was "living in poverty" and i got an education...and now this. i took a job at a restaurant, but was desperately searching for something that matched my qualifications. six months had passed and still nothing. finally, i thought to myself, "i could be in this same situation a year from now. maybe i SHOULD just go back to school." so, i decided i might just go back to nursing school. first, i wanted to make sure i could handle all the blood and bodily fluids i knew would be part of nursing. so, i signed up for a CNA course. i took a 6 week course and got a job at a local hospital after it was over. after working for a few weeks i decided that i would LOVE nursing. so, i applied to the 2nd degree nursing program. the recruiter said i would have to take some additional science courses to be accepted so i signed up for those and continued working as a CNA while i completed them. i had a 3.7+ GPA so the recruiter assured me (but didn't promise) that i would get in.
after i finished my pre-reqs and sent in my final paperwork for the nursing program...i got a letter in the mail. i was denied acceptance into the program. WHAT?!?! seriously?! i thought to myself...no wonder single mothers just give up. look at what i've done and look at where i am! i called the school and asked them where i was on the list. how could it be possible with my GPA that i didn't get in? luckily....i was high up on the waiting list. the advisor called me a few days later to let me know i was accepted. apparently, not everyone who was accepted took their spot. thank GOD!
i started school just a couple weeks after being accepted and i thought to myself, "if i made it as far as i have, this will be nothing." WRONG! nursing school was the hardest thing i had ever encountered in my life. i'm not religious, but i do believe "everything happens for a reason." for a long time i couldn't understand what the reason would be that i went through school all that time to be a teacher, dragged my kids through all of it with me...only to be let down. once i started nursing school, i realized the reason. it was to prepare me for what i was about to do. i cried my way through pathophysiology. every single semester i thought i was going to fail. every semester i was RUNNING into the hospital to make it to clinicals on time. every semester i had the new challenge of figuring out where i could drop my kids off at 0430 to make it to the clinical site by 0600.
but in the end...18 months after starting...i had my BSN. not only had i beaten the statistics by getting a college education as a "poverty stricken" single mother, but i had TWO bachelor's degrees and was the first/only person in my family to even have a college education. i was in my late 20's.
losing my first "real job" as a teacher ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. i LOVE being a nurse and can't imagine doing anything else. everything DOES happen for a reason.
this isn't a "poor me" or "pat me on the back" thread. rather, i find that many nurses have quite a story on what they went through to get where they are. i'm sure there are lots of young girls, single girls, mothers, etc. who read this thread and think that being a nurse is just a dream. "it's too hard" or "i can't do it because i have kids." maybe some of our stories will inspire someone.
what's your story?Last edit by TheCommuter on Jun 26, '12 : Reason: Converted to article
minnymi has been a member since Jun '12. Posts: 300 Likes: 365
1,040 ViewsJun 26, '12 by Jmiamithat was amazing. If you don't mind me asking, how did you finance your second degree? I feel like I'm in the same situation as you after bachelor degree number one. I'm in food service management with a BA, taking my natural science pre-reqs to apply to nursing school. Because of the demanding nature of my job (stressful, busy and at least 40 hrs a week) and my family obligations (keeping the household running for a pretty high needs 2 YO daughter), I am only able to take one class a semester because I want to really learn the material and get As in order to be competitive in my application (3.8 with high placement testing scores are the bare minimum). Once done with this step, I am not sure how to logistically move forward to NS. Working as a CNA or campus work study job simply won't feed, clothe and shelter my daughter and I no matter which way I slice it. I am always in awe of those who manage to do it. The only solution I can see would be continuing my job (who will get rid of me for sure if they knew I was pursuing further education outside of the hospitality field so I can jump ship), and get into the PT program. However, I'm not sure if I will literally have enough hours in the day for work, class, study and taking care of my daughter. You have really inspired me.Jun 29, '12 by adventure780I appalud you for all your efforts. I am a nurse as well. I didn't have kids while in school but I had my own struggles. I had bad roomates and I was naive to the real world before I started working towards my degree. Like you I lost my first job after college. I thought after landing a job in a telemetry unit right out of school I would be set. Boy was I wrong! Today I work in long term care. I sometimes want to go back to acute care but I have not been able to get a job in acute care since my first job didn't work out. I do not have regrets of becoming a nurse, just wish more could be done to improve working conditiond.