Countdown until graduation! I still can't believe I'm writing that. One more month and I'll graduate with my BSN. I remember walking into my first class, health assessment with disbelief and shock at the fast-paced accelerated program. When I started nursing school, I never thought this day would come so fast or that this day would even come. The first month of nursing school went by so slowly and I couldn't see the end of the tunnel. I didn't have hope. When my fundamentals instructor would say "During the pinning ceremony", I did not think that it would actually happen. Every day, I went home crying telling myself that nursing school would be over, the pain that I felt was temporary and for the better future. I said to myself, "It's only 1 month and there are 14 more months to go!" These days, I shed joyful tears, not tears of sadness, and I feel a little more hopeful. Graduation day will be one of the happiest moments in my life.
Nursing school is both an angel and a devil. Nursing school took away 15 months of my life and it took a huge toll physically, mentally, and emotionally. I feel exhausted, that I have aged ten years, but I think positively that post-graduation is the start of a wonderful time in my life. Recently, I looked at pictures from the first semester of clinical and to pictures of me now, I was more energetic when I first started nursing school. Without nursing school, I wouldn't have experienced the camaraderie with my study group. Little did I imagine how diverse my nursing school friends would be. We went through nursing school together and that is what makes our bond stronger. We understand each other. We will still connect and keep in touch after we graduate. We spent so much time together, my study group is like a second family to me.
Thinking back to the first injection I gave, the first amputation I saw, and the name of the patient who passed away, I've realized how much I have grown. The most grisly wounds and amputations don't scare me anymore and I've come to an understanding that I can feel that sadness of death, but seeing it as a natural aspect of life.
Through the stress of nursing school, I lost a relationship I knew that never could be, but it was a luck in disguise. I found a man who went through one of the toughest periods of my life with me.
When I pass my NCLEX, I will have a fulfilling job that makes a difference for patients, whether it is helping patients heal emotionally or physically, or achieving their wishes in the last few months of their lives. This is what makes nursing school worth it and gives me strength as I move forward in my nursing career and life. I'm glad I read what nursing school was like, or else it would have been a bigger shock to me. My biggest advice as a fourth semester nursing student. Enjoy life and have fun for a bit before you let nursing school take over your life. You will love and hate nursing school. Because of nursing school, I have matured throughout these 15 months, but there is so much more to learn as a new graduate nurse. In the future, I will look back at nursing school with both feelings of sadness and joy- what I lost that couldn't come back and a more mature person I have become. I never want to go through nursing school again, but I am tougher, stronger, and more compassionate because I went through nursing school.