Hello everyone!! I'm not new to allnurses but am relatively new to posting. I wanted to write and thank all of the wonderful nurses, students, etc who take the time to post advice and encouragement - this site has been a wonderful resource!
In addition to thanking you all, I would like to share my story and give back advice! I'm sorry in advance for how lengthy this will be!
A little background: I was raised by a single Mom who (somehow!) managed to work and obtain her RN degree while I was just a baby. That was in the 80's and I'm now 28 with my own RN degree as of this past May. I can now fully appreciate what she went through! I've often felt most people who become nurses know from a young age that this is what they want to do. I am the opposite. I finally decided I wanted to be a nurse in 2008 and immediately began working towards my goal. My mom was so proud and even helped me (along with my grandparents) pay for some of my classes and books. She would send me books on different skills I would need to work on (math, anatomy, etc). Finally, in May 2009 I got my acceptance letter!! My mom was, of course, the first person I called and she screamed when I told her! It was so exciting and it felt great to make her so proud.
I began nursing school in August 2009 and felt shell-shocked during my first few months! I'm sure most, if not all, can sympathize.
I was doing well but couldn't help think, "I must've been crazy to start this!". I would call my Mom frustrated and needing her guidance quite often! She was there every single time to comfort me and make me feel better. I made it to Thanksgiving break and got to go visit her. She hugged me and hugged me because she knew the stress I was going through!
That was the last time I saw her. A few days later, December 2nd, I would get a call that forever changed my life. My mom was killed suddenly when a tree fell on the car she and a friend were driving in. As I type this, I cannot begin to describe the anguish I felt and still feel. There truly are no words. My Mama, my dear friend, mentor and biggest cheerleader was just gone. I still can't believe it.
I missed a few classes and a clinical but was determined to finish the semester for myself but mostly for my Mom. The love from my classmates, instructors, friends, family, husband (especially him!) was overwhelming. There were over a thousand people who came to her wake - SO many people loved her and valued her as a nurse and person. She was amazing!! Just amazing. I miss her so very much and keep her picture by my bed.
Although the past year and a half has been so difficult without her, I feel I've become a better person and nurse. Something changed in me and softened me to other people and what they're going through.
I guess the advice I'd like to give my fellow new grads, students, anyone is: You never know what someone else has been through or what they're going through. In the end, we are all just people trying our best. If someone is mean or snappy, maybe they just need someone to be kind to them. Life is too short to consistently dwell on the negatives that happen to us.
To nursing students: Enjoy your time in school (I know, I know!!) - be open and soak this time up as much as you can - you'll learn more this way! Also, study as you go, don't try to cram it all in before a test. You might pass an exam but you're not doing yourself any favors once it comes time to take the NCLEX. Keep on pushing through, even through the really difficult times. Your degree is a wonderful accomplishment. As so many say, no education is wasted education. Don't let anyone try to discourage you from pursuing this degree if it's what you really want.
I realize I'm a newbie RN and I will probably harden a bit but before I lost my Mom, I was a very cynical person. I'm a firm believer in learning from past life experiences and hope to be the best I can be for my patients, coworkers and people in general. I got hired at a wonderful hospital and am currently busy with orientation
Wishing all the best to students, new grads and seasoned nurses! You are amazing people! Thank you again!