I started my practical nursing program Feb 28th, 2012 for a part time program that lasts 24 months and I've gone continuously since then with an 11 day break for summer...
I can remember like yesterday how nervous I was on that first day, it seemed like I was the youngest student there, most of the other students were late 30's or 40's or even 50's and I'm only 20 years old, I have a three year old daughter (yes, I got pregnant at 16) I dropped out of high school in 11th grade to take care of my daughter and I got my GED when she was almost 2, so none-the-less I felt like the teen mom of the class and that no one would take me seriously.
I remember thinking the male teacher looked really angry and serious and down to business. I remember thinking how unfriendly most of the women looked, and that I wouldn't make any friends. I remember how I'm not a CNA or an MA or anything of the such, and a lot of other students have prior experience, while at the time I was a home health aide.
I remember thinking that I probably wouldn't make it past the anatomy final that happens in mid summer, because I've heard how hard anatomy was to pass and how students drop like flies on a&p final day, I heard I would get no sleep, I would have to eat, sleep and breathe nursing, I heard how hard it was, and how I would have no life, I heard how brutal and mean nurses and nursing teachers are.
I heard how I would fail because I'm a single mom, and I have rent to pay so I can't be goofing around thinking I'm gonna go to school and make something of myself, that would be unheard of, I have to continue working my barely above min. wage job and live paycheck to paycheck, since I have a toddler to take care of.
I remember how my mom was hesitant of how I was going to do and how she didn't want to have to babysit all the time for me to go to school on evenings and weekends, she asked me if I could just settle for making $12 an hour.
I had no faith in myself, I'm not sure what pushed me to enroll, but I did it anyways. I was sure I was going to fail before I made it to scary clinicals, and I didn't even wanna think about clinical on the off chance that I did make it to them, I couldn't imagine inserting a foley or an NG tube in someone in front of that unfriendly and mean looking teacher.
But crazy enough I kept going back! After a few flunked tests, I started really buckling down with studying, I am a very smart girl (or at least I like to think so! according to the program administrator I'm no dummy to have GED scores like I do! lol) so assumed I didn't need to study really hard, and I didn't need to let nursing consume my life.
Now on August 20th, 2012, I have made it almost to the 6 month mark.
My male teacher is an awesome teacher with a wonderful sense of humor, he's very patient and understanding, most of my classmates have become good friends of mine and we are all very supportive of each other.
I passed the dreaded a&p final in july with an 87 final grade for the class (77 is the minimum to pass and not be kicked out).
I won't lie, I have been making due on a lot less sleep than I'm used to, nursing does consume my life, but I like it, I actually love it, it's more than school, it's more like my hobby, I love nursing and I love learning.
I made it to clinical, we started in a nursing home, and I've done tube feedings, foleys, sterile dressings, and with ease because I have a great instructor who talks me through everything and is very patient and wonderful.
Right now, we are on the topic of careplans and ADPIE the nursing process during class time, and right now I'm working on a paper on evidence based practice which is due in about a week, I'm not going to lie and say nursing school is a piece of cake, because it's not, but if it's really what you want, you can do it and I know I can do it now too! I'm sure things will get tougher, I have 18 months to go but I know I'm not stupid if I made it this far!