To all nursing and pre-nursing students

  1. Wow, I see so many new people around. I have not been around in a couple of weeks but I am back now. I will be starting my last semester of nursing school on Wedensday. YEAH!!!! Welcome to all the new people here!!!

    Quick introduction, my name is Tonya, I just turned 23 a few days ago and I am a single mom to 5 year old Alicia Nicole. I will graduate May 18th with my BSN. I would like to work either in the NICU or OB.

    I know a lot of you have recently found out you have been accepted. I would like to share with you my personal testimony. Not to brag but when I read other people's personal testimony I personally get even more motivation and inspiration and maybe this will do the same for you.

    I became a young mom at 17. It was unexpected but I decided to make the best life I possibly can for me and my daughter. I started college full-time just when my daughter was 6 months old. Since then I have been in school full-time. I started out as a nursing major, changed to business/marketing, then computers but then switched back as a nursing major. I earned my associate's in liberal arts degree back in December 2000 from a community college in my area then transferred to a four year university in my area in January 2001. My first semester of nursing school was a really tough one for me. AT mid-terms my first semester, I received a letter from my dean at my school that I had a D in Patho, I changed a lot of things around, got some serious motivation from my nursing advisor and I got a final grade of B at the end because I had made an A on every single quiz and exam after that mid-term grade. For the past 2 semesters I have been making Dean's honor roll. It has been hard especially with a VERY active young child but I have been working hard.

    I have had some serious doubts all during nursing school about am I chosing the right career, am I doing the right thing, how can I make my nursing career successful as a single. I have wondered about the nursing shortage, I have wondered about will I be able to give the best care to my patients if there are not enough co-workers around me. Each time I have had those doubts I truly think I have become stronger. Each time I remember why I chose to become a nurse in the first place and the plans I have for my nursing career. I plan to go to graduate school in a few years. I want to be active and involved. I chose nursing because 1) I love to help other people even if they don't thank me I still love to help, 2)I am so fascinated with medical type stuff, 3)I feel it is a good career option with plenty of diversity. What other field can you think of that offer so much diversity nursing has to offer? You can work any where from babies to the elderly, you can work OR, ER, OB, pediatrics, Med-surg, ICU, Trauma, Long-term care, you can work outside the hospital in the community, home health, clinics, ambulatory care, you can work as a legal nurse consultant if you study to become one and then become certified, you can work the business side of nursing, you can work as a case manager, you can further your education to become a nurse instructor the list goes on and on. Nursing has so much potential. After giving it some serious thought I feel that we may be coming into the field at a time where there is a huge shortage and crisis but I also feel we are coming into the field at a time where there are DEFINITELY possibilities and the chance to become part of the future.

    Nursing school is hard but if you believe deep within your heart that you were meant to become a nurse and that you can do this then you WILL make it through nursing school. It takes some hard work, determination and effort.

    Here are some of my study tips that work best for me and it may work for you:

    1)If at all possible I try to read the assigned reading before class, if that is not possible then I do my best to at least skim through the chapters.

    2)I always type my notes after class, I have found that to be really helpful.

    3)This should be a no-brainer but sometimes it takes some people more than others to figure this out. If you waited a couple of days before studying for a test in pre-req's don't assume you can do the same for nursing school. In nursing school you need to stay right up with the instructors or be ahead of the game if at all possible. Study at LEAST a week before a test.

    4)Buy a NCLEX book. YES, you can buy one your first semester and use the NCLEX book to study with your class notes and text but do NOT Just use the NCLEX book to study.

    5)If you are a visual person use flash cards and note charts. Don't be afraid to use a little color to your notes to spice them up. If you are very visual like I am colors may work very well for you.

    6)If you feel you are not understanding something despite the fact that you looked things up then don't be afraid to turn to your instructors they are not there to REALLY weed you out if you are serious. They love to help believe it or not. (AT least the instructors at my school).

    7)If you feel study groups work best for you then study in a group but don't feel obligated to study in a group. Some people weren't designed to work in a study group and work best by themselves. I do a combination of both. I often find that in many of the study groups I were in things went another direction away from studying and that is why it is best to limit your study group.

    8)This board is REALLY supportive. I found so many supportive people on here and we are working towards a common goal.

    Good luck to everyone!!!!!!
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Jennerizer
    Thanks for the helpful tips!!!!! They will come in handy. Congratulations on starting your last semester.
  4. by   tabbeycatt
    Thank you for your inspiration....

    Let me introduce myself. I'm Tabby, 29 years old, married and mother of a 15 month old son. I'm getting ready to start my second semester of my pre-req's.

    I decided to go back to school after the birth of my son. I have a degree in Accounting and I worked at a bank for 6 1/2 years. After 3 months of maternity leave, I went back to work only to find that I no longer enjoyed the atmosphere and that type of work. I missed my baby so much I decided to quit my job and stay at home for a little while. I had planned on returning to work once my son started school and thought about what I would enjoy doing. And then it hit me...... I wanted to become an OB nurse. I love babies and what other job could give me the satisfaction of being a part of helping one come into the world. So... I decided to go back to school and get my ADN degree.

    I know my road is a long one but I am determined not to give up. This is truly what I want to do and I know with support ( this board is GREAT!) and God's help I can make my dream come true.

    Best of luck to you!
  5. by   MidwifeWannaB
    Much thanks, Tonya!

    I start my first semester Monday and am nervous, to say the least. Ever since I decided to change my major to nursing it's been all I can think about. I'm 21 and my boyfriend and I plan to get married when I graduate in 2 years, so I want to have the opportunity to get a good-paying job while he finishes school, then I can have babies.

    I'm very excited and a lot scared, but I know that through Christ I can do all things.

    Good luck to everybody else out there, and God bless!


    aimee
  6. by   NurseAngie
    Ahhh...I had to post when I read Tonya's post! I am here to say that Tonya is a real inspiration to others and a very nice person. I know that she WILL succeed because she is determined and extremely intelligent. Here's my story, hope it doesn't bore you to sleep!
    I am 30 and a geographic single mom of two sons since my husband is in the military and is stationed on a ship right now. We have been married for 12 years and have an 11 y/o son and a 7 y/o son. I have known that I wanted to be a nurse since my first child was born. I have always had a passion for OB, but I love psych nursing too! Being a military wife, I have had to learn to seize opportunities when they came and I was able to start college when we were on our last shore duty(1996). I ran a home daycare business during the day and took classes at night for the first year. I then had to make the decision to enter a 5 semester RN program and face that my husband was going to transfer during my last semester and I would be in an area without any family or close friends and I would have two very young children on my own, along with nursing school. I chose a PN program instead. That allowed me to complete the program in 12 months and then move with my husband when the time came. That worked out the best for me since my husband got orders to Naples, Italy! We lived in Italy for three years(1999-2001) and had a wonderful time and I really learned a lot about myself and the world during that time. When it came time to transfer, my husband accepted orders to a warship and I decided to use this sea duty time to return to school for a nursing degree. I moved to live in a little vacation house that we own here in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky and I am currently in my 2 of 4 semester ADN program. It's not easy, but I am happy with my decision. I am not exactly certain what my next plans are (for the first time in my life, I have decided not to plan that far ahead. Instead I am going to wait and see what I desire when I get there!) I do plan to homeschool my sons when we leave here and I'm looking forward to that very much. My life is very rich and I am thankful for all the blessings in my life. I am grateful to allnurses because I have met some terrific people on here and I have learned so much about our profession. We are very diverse here and still retain almost a FAMILY atmosphere! WELCOME to all the new folks and good luck in school!!!

    ~Angie
  7. by   BellaTerra2002
    My thoughts and prayers are with your husband and you.
  8. by   nursbee04
    Thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes I wonder if anyone else has the same doubts I do, so it really helped to read your post. I have three semesters to go!! My prayers are with you all!!
  9. by   Gator,SN
    Sharing these stories of personal experiences and encouraging others is so important! Nursing is an awesome profession because of the incredible people that chose this career path and then follow through every day, making a difference.
    I wish you all peace and happiness. Keep going and never give up.
    Gator
  10. by   kimmicoobug
    Hey Tonya...Good thread!!!

    My name is Kim and I am a wife and mother to two children age 4 and 23 months. I started school at 21 which was four years ago and will graduate June 8th. I am really looking forward to being done with school for a while. I am in an ADN program, and I love going this route, but will be back six months after graduation to get my bachelor's. My school recently added a Washington State University bachelor's telecourse program to our school, and it is really opening up a lot of opportunitites for locals. Without this program, I would just settle for my ADN. My town really doesn't care about bachelor's versus ADN, but I feel I have to get it for personal reasons. If I so choose, I can also continue to get my masters in home health, community, psych, and general nurse practitioner. I am kind of iffy about that one.
    I decided at age 20 that I wanted to become a nurse. I was pregnant with my daughter and really was dumb and uneducated about pregnancy or childrearing. I also had a very unstable family life and felt very ashamed at being pregnant and unmarried, as I was an embarrassment to my family. I actually looked forward to going to my doctor's appointments because the nurses were great. For as much as you hear that nurses are so busy and can't spend as much time with patients, these nurses were great...one in particular. I didn't feel like I was a pariah and developed a great respect for nurses during my pregnancy. So, that got me thinking that maybe I wanted to do this when I grew up. Also, after the birth of my daughter, I realized that I had to get my crap together if I wanted to provide her with a good life. I managed a theater for a short while until the company went bankrupt. I went to the local unemployment office and was told of an opportunity to go back to school and get education at their expense. I jumped on it and started school 15 months after my daughter was born.
    My poor kids only know of mom as being a student....
    I completed my prereqs, but always felt that something was wrong and I wasn't going to accomplish my dream of doing something good with my life. But, I got my acceptance letter and I was going in. However, 2 months later I discovered that I was pregnant again. I decided to go for one quarter, then drop out. During my pregnancy, my husband and I were at each others throats like cats and dogs and I suffered from a bout of depression. After the birth of my son, I went to work at two different jobs, Arby's and K-mart (both places I said I would never work) because we needed the money if we were going to eat and pay our bills. 3 months after I started working there I came back to school full time. I worked 2 jobs, averaging about 35 hours a week and went to school. My marriage suffered and so did my kids. I also got no sleep, go figure. My son had problems with never seeing his mom and was kicked out of daycare center after day care center. Finally, I decided to lose the jobs and pull my kids out of the centers and juggle school with my husband's work.
    That has really been the hard part about nursing, juggling family and school and knowing that I am not giving my all to them. But, I hope they realize that they are the reason why I do what I do.

    Now, for study tips...Tonya mentioned good ones and I will mention a few more that I use. Write papers well in advance. We find out the first day of class what papers we are to write in a quarter. If it is something that can be written ahead of time...do it. Trust me, lots of stress saved. Nothin' like writing a 35 page research paper with the clock ticking...that'll give you a few gray hairs.
    Hmmm, what else, go to the lab and practice! Trust me, I didn't during my LPN year, and I suffered for it. This year, I practice and I feel comfortable in the skills that I perform in clinical.
    Also, befriend the nurses...to a point. Communicate because it is their licenses on the line. They will remember it and when looking for a job, they will remember. At least that is how it is in this town.
    NCLEX's are good, and I also bought another study aid by Mosby. So glad I did. I read my chapters then do the NCLEX study questions.

    That is about all I have to say,,,and I think that this is the longest post I have every posted.
  11. by   Love-A-Nurse
    tonya, you are a special lady with a prosper future. stay as you are and keep the faith.
  12. by   EmeraldNYL
    Tonya and everyone else, thanks for your stories! I guess I am more of a traditional student, I am 22, just graduated with a B.S. in biology, and am currently attending an accelerated one year BSN program. Sometimes it is really stressful! I really hope to become a CRNA someday soon so I'm gonna work my a$$ off!! Good luck to everyone; who knows what is possible with a little persistence and determination?
  13. by   DebsZoo
    thanks to each of you for taking the time to post your stories. truly inspirations to read

    i am so looking forward to starting nursing in sept. of this year. i just rec'd my acceptance letter this week.
    being an older student, my confidence was not the best going tion my prereqs.
    thought i would end up with an ulcer waiting for my first semester grades. i ended up with 3.79 gpa

    huge sigh of relief

    best of luck to those just finishing, halfway through and those just beginning their journey :kiss
  14. by   FutureRN~Pookie
    I just had to post after reading all of your posts. I realized just now that ya'll are WAY more supportive on here than the people I know "for real." Even though most of you know that I won't even start pre-req's until August, you all have been so friendly..sharing information and helping me out. Thanks for everything! :kiss Someone stated above that after they changed their major to nursing, that was all they could think about! I feel the EXACT same way! I told my admin. couselor that I couldn't wait to start nursing school and she said she totally understands! Anyways, GOOD LUCK to everyone starting and finishing school! You guys mean the world to me! :spin:

    Pookie

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