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.