Recently, at the age of 33 (to be 34 in July) "the light" went off. I have been searching my whole life for a purpose. I have been working a menial job, while trying to get by. I thought that this was it for me. All of the years of self loathing and feelings of worthlessness have done nothing for me except balloon me up to 500 lbs and make me feel like a horrible person. I don't know how it happened, but it just clicked for me. I decided that I want to be an RN. Now, nothing else matters. This is my goal and I will do whatever I have to do to make it happen. I haven't ever felt this motivated in my entire life. At some point I wanted to get into law enforcement, but I no longer care about that. I have many hurdles to overcome for sure. Firstly, I've never been a good student. I dropped out of high school back in 1997. I only recently got my GED 3 years ago. I was so intimidated by going for that. When I got there, I realized Hmm, this isn't that hard. It was all about going and doing. Now, I am ready to move onto the next part of my life. I know pre nursing is going to be hard for me, but I refuse to let that get me down. I plan on going to ALL of my classes, and even organizing study groups so that all of us will be able to challenge and test ourselves. I probably won't be able to afford a tutor, but I will definitely ask questions here on this forum when I need help. I am also now on a very strict diet. I have been counting my calories and making sure that I am not eating more than I should. There is no room for failure. As with a lot of you, I wasn't born into a family that has a lot of money. In fact, my family has NO money. Basically, before I can go to to nursing school, I will have to save about 7 or 8 grand so that I will have a cheap room to live in somewhere. If necessary, I will apply to every community college in America until somebody accepts me into their program. I will will work part time flipping burgers, mopping toilet stalls, dig ditches, or whatever. I'll even go on food stamps, and I'm a proud man. So basically, I will do WHATEVER it takes to get into nursing school, pass and then pass my NCLEX exam. I am just curious if anyone here is in a similar boat as I am. Are any of you folks super poor without support? I feel like It would just be a relief to hear from some of you guys. Thanks for listening.
May 16, '13
What an awesome post. All the power to you brother. Luckily most community colleges provide free student tutors and I too am broke. Depending ong your state you may qualify for financial aid. For example other than FAFSA which everyone should do, in CA there is something called the BOG waiver that pays for your tuition. Working is good but juggling with work and school may be tough. Look for scholarships
to earn free money. Being motivated is really good, but its better to plan accordingly and making smart decisions because motivation can run out of fuel some days. Good luck and post updates!
May 16, '13
Thank You for that.. I definitely know that I won't be able to work full time. I probably will just have to find some weekend shifts somewhere. I currently work as a security guard, and have been on the job for 11 years. I'm hoping wherever I end up, I can get a P/T weekend security gig so that I can do my homework and study while I am working. That is why I like this job. I could actually do that. The only problem is that I am so tired by the time I get off at 8am. I don't think it would be good for me to go to class in the morning after having worked all night. I think my work would suffer. I know 5 or 7 years down the road when I'm working for a travel nurse agency making 6 figs with OT, this is all going to be worth it. Getting paid to help people and make sure they are well... what else could you ask for, rite??
May 16, '13
Reading your post gave me chills!! That's the kind of passion and dedication I think should be a requirement for all nursing students!! I asked a fellow student (the class know it all) why he wanted to be a nurse, and his response sickened me. He said that it was the quickest way to get a degree that would guarantee him at least 40k a year. I wanted to slap him. Fortunately,even though he is highly intelligent, he really doesn't have the personality or personal hygiene standards to compete with te rest of us after all is said and done, and call me catty, but the fact that he is brilliant won't mean a thing if he's just a rude and messy person.
Anywho, I totally understand your situation. While mine is not as sucky as yours (my husband is an engineer and so After I lost my job in the fall- shortly after telling my boss I was going to school- we decided it was best for me to stay home and just focus on school). I do realize, from other life experiences, what desperation feels like-- and it's one of the most effective motivators ever!!!
My advice for you-- while student loans suck, you can use those to pay for school and to help you have a place to live while you are in school. Maybe you could work a schedule out for your classes where you have all of your classes two days a week, at least for pre-reqs. Then you could work a few days (not school days) and have a day or two off to dedicate to your studies?? I know my school already has classes for fall posted so that people can figure out their schedules prior to registration. (I have mine all written down so I can just log in as soon as registration opens up and enter the sections I want-- bam! Donezo!) this can be done. You can do it. Why? Because you genuinely want it, for the right reasons. Keep on pushing yourself, and know that everyone here (save for the few meanies that lurk around every on e no again) will be here if you need us!!!
May 16, '13
OP, Your post is inspiring.
I know two former HS dropouts who are currently Nurse Executives (both with doctorates) that overcame enormous obstacles to achieve their education & career goals. One was a hard core 'bad kid' heading down a really dark path and the other was a teenage mom at 15 . . . I wanted to share those success stories with you to show you that it is not just a vague possibility, but very achievable if you have the courage and motivation to make it happen.
Talk with a financial aid expert at your community college. You are probably eligible for Pell Grants and other funding sources that you are not aware of. Try to avoid private loans if at all possible, even if it means prolonging your educational path.
You need to place the highest priority on weight reduction and improving your health. Obesity will be a huge detriment to landing any sort of nursing job. Bedside nursing is a very strenuous job - employers won't hire you if they feel that you are not capable of the physical demands of the job.
May 16, '13
Congrats on the life decisions! It's such an awesome feeling isn't?! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! When that light bulb goes off and you finally just see clear, it makes all the hard work worth it.
I agree with taking out loans to cover some living costs. It sucks, and will be a bigger debt, but you will get a job to pay it back. You're determined and WANT this. It will happen. :-)
May 16, '13
You seem like a really ambitious person. I hope your journey will be successful. You're actually pretty inspiring. I've been sitting here for the past couple of weeks thinking about the things that I need to do but pushing them off until "tomorrow," but you make me want to get up and accomplish great things! I love your enthusiasm, and I hope you can hang on to it. But, like anything else, there will be days when you absolutely want to give up, and you might have a good cry about it (if crying is your thing; it's definitely mine). One of my favorite sayings: "The minute you think of giving up, think of the reason why you held on so long." Good luck!
May 16, '13
make sure you check out nurse corps when you start nursing school!
May 16, '13
Best wishes to you on your journey! Your passion for nursing is an inspiration.
May 16, '13
You have the best head start.....you WANT to be a nurse. Good Luck!!!!
May 16, '13
This is such an inspiring post! I am not in exactly in the same situation as you but I am fired up to return to school to be a nurse a bit later in life as well. I did the traditional thing. My parents were by no means rich but middle-class and able to send me to a state school to get my BS degree and support me through school. I am from West Virginia, went to undergrad at WVU right out of high school and graduated in 4 years with a bachelors in Political Science in 2004. At the time, my dream was to become a lawyer. I got into law school at Whitter in Costa Mesa, CA, got a scholarship
, thought the world was my oyster and moved out to CA thinking I would be making the mad cheddar in 3 years after completing law school. Well, as soon as I walked on the campus I knew I had made a mistake. I was way too immature to be in law school (age 22) and was absolutely not in the right frame of mind. After one year, I failed out, I appealed to return and re-do my first year but was denied. I had no idea what to do. I spent many a night polishing off bottles of wine, feeling sorry for myself and sauving my crushed ego. I ended up working for the government, got involved in GIS (geographic information systems), took some classes in GIS and have been able to remain employed with a fairly decent salary working in the GIS/urban planning field which is what I do presently. Although I have had decent career so far, and been much luckier than most with a liberal arts degree, I have sort of just been muddling through, not really loving what I'm doing. I turned 30 this year, and like you were saying something clicked and BANG! I want to be a nurse and will do whatever it takes to get there! I still live in CA but would not be able to afford living here if not for dual-income with my husband (he's an engineer). I have had trouble getting into the high-demand classes like Anatomy and Physiology but I am building up my credits at the Santa Ana Community College in the easier pre-req classes. I took general pyschology last semester and this summer I am going to take nutrition and developmental psych... these are also pre-req classes for the programs I want to apply for. I really hope I can get into anatomy this Fall. So yes I know what you mean, I am working full-time at my day job and dreaming of the day when I can starting nursing school full-time and be on my way to the career I want with all my heart. I am hoping to get into an accelerated BSN program or 2nd career in nursing program and spend maybe 1-2 years going back to school full-time. Good luck to you! WE GOT THIS!
May 16, '13
That is awesome! I have no doubt you'll excel as a student and nurse. I too am focused and though there have been some big hurdles I've overcame each one some more difficult than others.
Reality is what value is something if there's not some blood and tears involved? It's what makes me all the more motivated.
As for money, if you're "poor" then I'm sure you'd qualify for financial aid after applying for fafsa. Working as a CNA meanwhile can make a livable wage as well.
Best of luck!!!
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