As the title says I survived Nursing School.
On July 17, 2015 I graduated from my practical nursing program, amid 29 other students, my classmates from the year. Out of 32 of us, 30 of us made it to the end, no small feat really.
On September 8, 2015 I sat for my NCLEX-PN exam, I was anxious all the way up to it, took time off after graduating to study everyday and only stopped studying about a week before the test. I drove an hour and a half away to stay in a hotel overnight and try to relax the night before the test, I thought it worked out okay; I felt relaxed at least. Until I hit the testing center doors, and then I was overcome by so much adrenaline and anxiety that I honestly don’t remember most of the testing content. I know I had 45+ Select All That Apply questions, because I kept track until 45 and then stopped keeping track of how many I got, I know I forgot what polydipsia was until I got into the elevator afterwards, but other than that the entire thing is a blur. Polydipsia is excessive thirst by the way, which is why I felt so ignorant as I remembered it afterwards. I made it out of the testing center, into the elevator, out of the building, and halfway across the parking lot before I started sobbing feeling like a complete and utter failure. I called my significant other who tried reassuring me, his Mother who is also a nurse of ~30 years experience tried to reassure me, and my program director tried to as well. It didn’t work for any of them and it took me a good 30 minutes to compose myself enough to drive home and spend 2 days waiting for my Quick Results.
Well on September 10, 2015 at 1400 hours exactly 48 hours after my test the results were in, I had passed. I am finally a Licensed Practical Nurse, that same day my license number and information posted to the Missouri State Board of Nursing Registry.
The funny thing is on the first day of the program our instructors told us to look to our left and right and realize that by the end of everything the people in this room would have become a family of sorts to us, and when they said it I rolled my eyes and turned to my friend next to me and we both shook our heads. We were co-workers before the program and now he is moving to another state in the compact, which was his eventual goal all along, go for him!
But the thing is by the end of the program, we all had kind of ended up being like a huge family, there were the relatives you liked and talked to everyday and always got a birthday presents, the ones you tolerated, even the ones who got on your nerves; and you missed them. I think that was something I never expected to get from this program and from the entire experience of going through nursing school, and getting my license, and now actually being a nurse. Especially after already working in the healthcare industry and seeing how people really could end up being to one another, I kind of figured this experience would be a Hunger Games of sorts really, because that’s what a lot of jobs have been like, and I expected no different. What I got though was completely different.
We had three amazing instructors who were always there for us in any situation, they cared whether we got through and when we had personal issues going on they were there to listen. That’s something before this I was definitely not counting on especially after hearing from other people about their programs and how miserable it was and how their instructors rode them endlessly and made them dislike them. I had classmates that even when we pissed one another off were there if I had a question, or we needed to share something to help one another out. I’m actually going to miss the people I spent almost every day of week half a day for a year with, something I had doubted was going to happen. Morgan constantly joking and making the people around him happy, Courtney and Abbie being like the clumsy, goofy, hilarious wonder twins, Amy always being a great listener and so compassionate, Edith and being able to talk to her about anything – and complain together, Bobby and his endless acquired resources, Shonnie and her awesome diet and fitness advice, Clint and his endless empathy for everyone and what they’re going through even when he had his own things going on, Penny and her completely off sense of humor – which we share, and everyone else. This year was a challenging experience, I had a lot going on in my life, but the one thing I think I will take away from it the most; is how much it taught me about being a better person to the people around me and how it can build these bonds you’ll have for ages afterwards. I didn’t know how to be a good friend to someone and have a strong relationship, and through all of these amazing people and my instructors I’ve bettered myself and have grown so much as a person, and cannot wait to go out and be a better nurse.
I wish all of them luck, and want to say congratulations to those who have passed their NCLEX-PN already, and advanced congratulations to those who haven’t taken it yet, because you guys will do awesome! You guys all had a role in changing my life and you all have wonderful and bright futures ahead of you!
Side Note: There have been a million controversies about this “Pearson Vue Trick”, however when I tried it about 24 hours after sitting for the NLCEX I got the “good” pop-up…didn’t help my feelings as I waited on actual results, but their coding on the site is programmed to display an error message based on a string in the database with a pass, fail, or inconclusive setting. Meaning if your test is marked as pass you get one message and your card won’t be charged, fail – your credit card gets charged, or inconclusive another message and no card charge. This isn’t a trick, it’s how their system is coded to respond to your attempt to reschedule your exam, and their database can have an occasional issue, but most of the time it will be accurate. So for the tons of people always asking if it works the response is yeah, it’s not a trick, it’s how they actually coded it to work. If you’re worried though just put the wrong expiration date on your credit card in case. Since you have to go to the submit order screen now to do the “trick”.