*Sort of a long post. Means a lot to me!
-Two days ago, I took the test that made me an RN. It got me thinking about how and what got me to this point in my life. I don't know how many people know the story, but I am going to share it. It began my senior year of high school, just a wee 4 years ago. That year I was registering at ASU and declaring myself as an art and design major. My parents had this idea in their heads about what I should do and they kept telling me that I should do something that's not art, like being a nurse. They were convinced that I would be a great nurse. I thought that was a silly idea and told them no because nurses have gross, hard jobs. Well, that summer, my little sister decided to have pretty major back surgery. So she was in the hospital for like a week and I visited her every day and would stay with her so my mom could go home and do whatever she needed to do. I got a little exposure to what nurses do and what its like in a hospital. Thoughts of being a nurse began to creep into my mind at this point. Marg came home and I took care of her with my mom. I helped her shower and get dressed and I kept track of when she took her pills last. I liked helping her. Well, a few weeks later, my mom and I go to my orientation for ASU's design college. We were sitting in some big room listening to some person talking about requirements and this and that, and I leaned over to my mom and say "Hey mom! I think I am suppose to be a nurse." It was weird. The thought just popped in my head. "Hilaree, you are suppose to be a nurse." So, I went with it! My mom asked me if I was sure and I said yes. We found an advisor and asked about switching to nursing and the advisor said there is one last opening for the last day of orientation for the nursing college. I signed up. That was that. Just like that I decided to become a nurse.
-The next two years I worked real hard in my prerequisites so I could have a 4.0 to help get into the program. Right before my sophomore year of college, I decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) so that I could get a job and some exposure to the medical world to see if I really wanted to do nursing. I loved being a CNA. I worked for 8 months almost full-time in a nursing home. I loved being helpful. I liked providing comfort, even the basic comfort like helping someone get dressed and shower. It was so rewarding. It was hard, but good-hard.
-While I was working as a CNA, I was applying for ASU'a nursing program. At that time, all it took was a good test score and your GPA to get into ASU's nursing program. Add those two numbers up (GPA: possible 4pts, Test: possible 2pts) and they took the top 60 scores. My GPA was 4.0 so all I needed to do was get a good score on the entrance test. I still remember the day I got my acceptance letter. I was getting ready to go to Africa for the summer and I was sure I wouldn't know if I got in till after my trip, but June 18th, 2010, I got the letter. Obviously I got in. So exciting!!! Called everyone and partied!!! Little did I know what lay ahead. Best adventure of my life.
-Nursing school began and I met my first learning community (10 people per one instructor). First impression are funny and can be misleading. I had forgotten to do my laundry before that day and didn't have too much to wear... Karissa and Laura (classmates) told me later that they thought I was some sort of punk rocker chick. Oh, first impressions. The ten of us became the best of friends very quickly. That first semester (Junior 1) went by fast. I thought it was so hard...wait for Senior 1 Hilaree! :) I felt pretty comfortable in the nursing home until I gave my first shot. Bad time for shaky nerves. ASU started us off with some of the best faculty and taught us the basics real well.
-Junior 2: Psychology and Adult Health/Medical Surgical rotations. I thought I hated Psych, but as I look back, I think I really enjoyed it. It's not your regular nursing. In Med Surg, I began to feel like a nurse. I was passing meds and sticking people and I was in a hospital. The best part of this rotation was the operation I got to see. Each student got to spend half a day in the OR (Operating Room). I was scheduled last. The staff said there wasn't anything scheduled that day, but then one nurse said "Wait! Don't forget the heart!" Awesome!!! Seeing open heart surgery was an amazing experience. I got to stand right next to the anesthesiologist and watch the whole procedure up close. The human body is amazing!
-Senior 1 was a tough semester. 3 rotations. Babies, kids, and homeless people...oh my. It was Labor & delivery, Pediatrics, and Public/community health. Sticking babies was sad. Playing with sick kids was fun, but sad. Public health was boring, but I really liked it, randomly and I think that's what I want to go into eventually!
-Senior 2: Senioritis was rampaging. Critical care rotation and shadowing. Critical Care was at Arizona Heart Hospital. Shadowing was on the Telemetry/Cardiac unit at Scottsdale Osborn. When I work in a hospital, I want work on the cardiac unit. The cardiovascular system is my favorite. This last semester went by fast and I felt very much like a nurse. Graduation came and went. Did some studying for the NCLEX and I passed! I am an officially an RN! And it's too good to be true! 4 years ago if you told me I was going to be a nurse, I would have said you were crazy. Becoming a nurse was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I found something I loved and made new friends that will always be special. Nursing is hard and there are times when you get tired and frustrated and sad and nervous and impatient and bored, but the few moments when you feel like you truly made a difference in someone's life whether it is recognized or not seem to make up the difference. You share very tender moments with your patients and their families. Their lives may be changed by what is happening and they look to the nurse for...well almost everything. During my clinicals, I felt like a hero many times and a nuisance many other times. There's a saying that I can't wait to have true in my life! "Save a life, you're a hero; save a thousand, you're a nurse!" :) And I am a Nurse!
-Special thanks to: my parents who supported me in every possible way, my little sister who set the wheel in motion, my family that kept reminding me that I was gonna be a nurse, my friends that cheered me on, my instructors that taught and believed in me, my classmates that were with me every step of the way, and my Heavenly Father that got me through it and heard every prayer! Thank you!