Friday, June 19, 2015

Graduation Day!

Today at 10:00 a.m. I am officially graduating nursing school!

Never ever could I have thought that my nursing school journey would have been THIS wonderful!

I knew I loved nursing, medical knowledge, and caring for people.  But I did not anticipate such knowledge, life-long new friends, insane patient stories, the endurance required of me, the hilarious cohort I was a part of, and the life-changing experience this has been.

One very sick husband sparked all my interest in nursing back in 2012.  While I would never want him to be sick, if he hadn't been as critically ill as he was, I may not have understood how important nurses are and been inspired to become one myself.

I remember one night he was in the hospital and I started googling "nursing programs".  I'll admit I was super overwhelmed by the science heavy pre-reqs.  It's not my natural bend to think like that.  I remember saying to Ryan, 

"I think I can do this even though it looks scary, what do you think?"

From then on I soaked up shows like NY Med, toured 3 nursing schools in Colorado, and got down to business to make sure I would succeed.

It all started with my CNA licensing and pre-reqs like A&P and chemistry at the local community college.  Then onto bigger and better things like Denver School of Nursing!

I learned the basics first, like sterile gloving...


Gave blood as one of many volunteer adventures over the last 21 months. I volunteered over 50 hours for Global Health Perspectives, a student group I was a part of spending time as a reading tutor, HWI women's advocate, food bank organizer, and Bonfils blood giver...


Learned to start IV's and eventually became a student leader in this lab...


I went through dozens of highlighters and pens, printed stacks of pages and read thousands of words to study for too many tests to remember...


Ashley, Nathan, Mark and Nate and I all made up one incredibly committed study group and I truly believe we could not have gotten the A's and did as well as we did without one another...


Ashley, Mark, Nate, myself, and Nylah all enjoyed breakfast out after a HESI.  One special thing about our cohort is how well we got along and the way we engaged with each other outside of school.  These are unique people I am grateful to know for life...


There was silliness in the hospital cafeterias...


And SO much laughter during OB SIMS lab...


Ashley, myself, Nylah, and Alissa all held a food drive for one of the poorest schools in Aurora as a part of our final research project and fed hundreds of children and their families...


I devoured these books-highlighting, copying, quoting, and cramming...


I felt like this a few times but on the whole it was important to me to approach nursing school as a very, very rare gift and one that I felt honored to be a part of...


Nursing school was what I expected in a lot of way and totally surprising in others.  I did not expect to do as well as I did (President's or Dean's list every quarter, baby) because my brain is not naturally gifted in science. 

But thankfully nursing is so holistic and what took my brain a few weeks to adjust to material wise, was already set to go in terms of patients and care.  

There are a few moments I wish I would have studied just a little harder to push a B+ to the A category, but I feel like I utilized my time well and didn't waste a moment.  There is little, if anything, I would change about this 21 month program.

What's even more insane??

This adventure was not just mine.  Ryan has supported ENTIRELY since day 1.  He has worked hard, figured out finances and loans, and empowered me to stay home or work (whichever I prefer).  He made me dinners, packed lunches, cleaned the house, pampered me, and made sure I would succeed on this journey in anyway he could.  I am grateful for my husband.

My parents backed us up the entire way too!  My mom cleaned our house once a week and dropped off a weekly dinners to make things easier.  My dad walked our doodles and made day time care for them so much more simple.

All of our families and siblings have been interested, supported us, and helped along the way.  We are grateful for our families!

This accomplishment, graduating nursing school, is a dream come true and powered by the people who care and love me.  I could not be more thankful or feel more empowered as this very important day unfolds.

It will be a joy and exciting roller coaster to see what the next few months have in store for this brand new nurse...

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."

2 Chronicles 15:7

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