If I Can Do It, You Can Do It Too!

My Nursing school experience. If I can make it you can too!


If I Can Do It, You Can Do It Too!

I just wanted to contribute to this website because for the last couple of years, it has been a lifesaving resource to me and I always told myself that when I passed the NCLEX I would write my experience in hopes it would help someone else. So here it is! I'll start from the beginning so bear with me...

I started nursing school (pre reqs) right after separating from my husband at the time with a 3 1/2 year old and 9 month old sons. I was scared to death and hesitant on whether or not I should commit to such a huge decision but knew it was what I was suppose to do. So I don't go into too much detail and make you read 10 pages of my experience, I'll paint a picture for you.

In the first two semesters; I sold my house, got sick and was diagnosed with primary lupus secondary Sjögren's Syndrome, got divorced and rewarded custody of my two kiddos, and did not have a car so I walked everywhere I had to be (or arranged rides when kids and weather were involved.) I worked at the local hospital for about 8 years in radiology at this point and picked up a second job to work graveyards to make some extra cash and catch up on bills. Things were starting to look better and then my brother, whom I was really close with passed away in a car accident. I didn't think things were ever going to get better but I pushed through it all.

I finished third semester with my sanity in tact (barely) and was prepping for fourth. Fourth semester came and I started precepting in radiology (my own department!) Then I moved into Maternal child (6 weeks) and BOMBED my test....The last thing to do was Critical Care and the teacher was horrible. She couldn't explain trach care or basic EKG strips and I was starting to get nervous. I didn't come all this way to not pass! I studied SOOOOO hard and taught myself everything on my objectives list! I had to get an 80% to finish fourth semester out. I took the test (almost passed out several times) but I got my results and I passed (with an 88% to be exact!)

I was able to ask my now 8 year old if he would pin me. I cried like a baby but it was so awesome! Then reality hit....I still had to pass NCLEX and work was calling wanting to know when I was taking it and when I could start. I signed up for the soonest date I could and did some questions here and there. My ATI predictor test showed I had a 94% chance of passing so I will admit, I was probably too confident.

I went in to take my test and BOMBED it in 75 questions. I was mortified and my life as I knew it came crashing down! Like I said, I work at a local hospital and most of the students I graduated with ended up passing their tests so when I was at work, I was having to walk passed all these guys and gals that were in their "blues" and working already when I wasn't. I swallowed my pride and decided that it was time to finish strong. I read several threads on here and tried to boost my confidence and rebuild my pride. I took on Kaplan self paced and dedicated 3-4 hours a night working through their program. I set a date right away and took it 45 days later and passed in 140 questions.

I guess the purpose of this post is to let anyone who is struggling know that if I can make it through nursing school and pass, you can too. We all have trials and struggles and obstacles in our way at times and I think the reason I was able to do it is remembering why I started in the first place. I have always wanted to be a nurse and promised two little boys that I would finish it so that they could have the life I wanted to give them.

I'll never forget a professor of mine stood up in class and said, "the only reason people fail is because they don't talk to us about their struggles and let us help them. If you have a lot going on in life right now it is probably not the time to attend this school. I've seen people fail because they have gotten divorced (check), lost a close loved one (check check), or worked way too many hours (check check check)."

That being said, I had some amazing professors and I had some horrible ones. It all came down to how bad I wanted it and how hard I was willing to work for it.

Anyways, long post, but I hope someone is reading this and thinking "this is me!!!" and realizes that it's possible and they can do it and they are meant to be a nurse if they have made it this far already.

Millie Mulberry RN

1 Article   9 Posts

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Buyer beware, BSN

1,137 Posts

Specializes in GENERAL. Has 40 years experience.

OP: you sound like a right proper latter day Mattie Ross. Maybe someday some of that true grit will rub off on most of us who need it.

milliem, ASN, RN

1 Article; 9 Posts

Specializes in Radiology.

Wow! I'm flattered! Thank you! I truly appreciate it!!


139 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg/ Pedi, OR.

Inspiring !


32 Posts

I second the Inspiring comment! Way to go! Makes me feel ashamed for being stressed out in a much "easier" situation! You are proof that hard work, endurance, and drive really pay off. Where there's a will, there's a way! Many congrats! (and I'm sorry you had to go through all of that).


7 Posts

Specializes in Colorectal and Gastroenterology. Has 10 years experience.

When you experience the most resistance that's when you are supposed to keep fighting! Congratulations! Thank you for the inspiration!


20 Posts

Very inspiring! I too failed the NCLEX LONG time ago (1999, 2001, 2002) but I decided to give it a try this year and I passed the NCLEX after 17 years. It can be done. You just have to know how bad you want to be a nurse!! Congrats!