A mentor who made a difference for me
The nurse who broke me as a graduate, did more than mentor me. She went way out of her way to support me by picking me up and taking me home as we only had one car. She understood the difficulty of having one car and working opposite shifts form my husband.It feels as though I have always had one or more angels watching over me as I have progressed throughout my nursing career. I managed to get pregnant in my junior year of college…not in the plan for sure, but I had wonderful roommates who were extremely supportive of me at a difficult time. The nursing instructors were my saviors as well, supplying maternity uniforms, allowing me to borrow text books etc. I got married, had my son and managed to graduate just a year later than the original planned date.
There was a job available in a teaching hospital near my hometown and my son and moved back to so I could start as a graduate nurse and study for the boards, while still gaining some practical experience. We stayed with my folks until my husband got out of the service and moved to be with us. When he did, we got an apartment near my parents and I began work. Orientation was not too bad as I could take the city bus to and from work, but once we were done with that, it was on to the dreaded night shift. As a family, we had one car, so the juggle of me working nights while my husband worked days was a challenge.
One of the nurses who broke me in as a graduate was my savior. She had worked with mom on the same floor I was orienting on and was a graduate of that hospital’s school of nursing. As a diploma grad, she could have resented me but was old enough and secure enough to not feel threatened by my newly minted BSN degree, yet young enough to understand the challenges of raising a family. The (sometimes) quiet time on the night shift allowed for us to get to know each other and talk a little bit about our lives and families. I was struggling with the possibility of not being able to leave when my shift was over, thus delaying the time my husband could leave for work. She understood how important it was for me to be able to work on a regular basis and not have to worry about how I would get there or how I would get home. One night she offered to pick me up and that meant going WAY out of her way to come and get me for the night shift. This continued several nights a week for a couple of years until I was able to get on the day shift (Wahoo!!).
I started at that hospital in June of 1983, took my boards in July of that year and heard six weeks later that I had passed! To this day, I credit her willingness to go the extra step and help me. There is not a doubt in my mind that I never would have passed the NCLEX on the first try if not for the clinical experience but even more so, a mentor who cared. I have long since relocated but she and her family vacation in the same town where I have lived since I moved away that hospital, so we get to see each other once or twice a year.
I recently have had the opportunity to again pay it forward to an LNA I work with. She lives (sort of) within walking distance of the LTC facility but whenever we work together I am more than glad to save her the effort, especially this past summer when it was so hot and humid and again now that winter is upon us. She asked several times why I would go out of my way (and it really was much less than had been done for me) so I shared my story…Last edit by Joe V on Dec 17, '12
I graduated in 1983 with my BSN a started work in a busy teaching hospital. My career has spanned through long term care, physicians offices,home care and for the past 19 years school nursing.
NutmeggeRN has '30+' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'kids'. From 'New England'; Joined Dec '11; Posts: 986; Likes: 1,314.0Nov 7, '12 by amberooBeautiful story and thank you for sharing with us. Your story really tuched my heart. I have always been like your mentor and I believe in paying it forward because every life matters and every life can make a difference. I'm so happy when ever someone shares such a positive nursing message. We know full- well that there are enough of the negative stuff out there in the world. We sure can use to hear some more of the stories like yours.