I... think... I think I'm Done?!
Wow… Done with nursing school. It seems more like an illusion or a dream than the real thing. After the comprehensive ATI, the last exam of nursing school, the final rite of passage before the NCLEX is our pinning ceremony. The three exams last week put me into a daze and at this point I have not yet surfaced from the mental fog. That’s a good description of nursing school though–a mental fog. So much knowledge was crammed into our brains, creating limited visibility for any other information previously present. I think I forgot my name a few times during this program, and how to drive a car at least once.
It’s a really strange experience to see yourself grow, not just in nursing, but in life. Recently I’ve had many conversations with the students in our earlier semesters. Hearing their trials and tribulations has made me reflect on so many emotions and experiences I’ve had throughout the last two years. The sometimes painful assimilation that nursing school forced upon us was not without reason. At the end of it all, I understand the demands. To be a constant professional you need to perform in situations where you are fatigued both mentally and emotionally. I witnessed my growth in clinical, but I also noticed a personal sense of maturity when dealing with others. It’s funny how taking care of other people forces you to grow up fast.
Now that graduation is just a few days away, I want to make sure I celebrate this accomplishment as a check point on my journey and not the end of the road. My thirst for knowledge still lingers and I hope it will remain strong for the next few years, propelling me to go back and get my nurse practitioner license.
The next hurdle I have to clear is the madness of job applications. My goal is to wait a few months for the responses from several new graduate residency programs and a few clinical nurse one positions I will be applying for. At this point if nothing surfaces, I have made the decision to go out of state and start a new path on my journey. From the world of stress and uncertainty that is nursing school, I embark on now another equally stressful and even more uncertain world, that of a new graduate nurse. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to check in along the way.