Celebratory! Mostly, my life is now celebratory.

Graduation, or should I say the pinning ceremony, for the UAH college of nursing class of 2010 was May 14th and such a wonderful event. It was personal and emotional and so happy. My classmates and I were thrilled and the teachers were relaxed and the family, friends, and supporters were all happy for our accomplishments. My grandparents, godmother, and Aunt Lori and Uncle Boo came up from my hometown of Pell City to visit that day. It was particularly special that my grandparents came, because not only are they some of my biggest fans, they had given me the PACT fund for my college tuition. My grandmother is such an encouragement in my life, and it was her stories of working as an RN that persuaded me on the major two years ago. She also gave me her 1958 nursing pin to use for the pinning, which was the best gift I could have received.

I didn't walk the graduation ceremony the next day, because after having my relatives visit for the pinning it would have been a pointless bore, but that night April, Janna, Heidi and I threw a joint graduation party. It was such a bittersweet evening... We were good friends even before we went through two years of nursing school together. We were together through almost all classes and clinicals, and the weekend and party significantly marked the end to our journey together. April married last spring, Janna married a month before graduation, and Heidi was engaged to be married in August. Watching them move into the next roles and stages of their life was beautiful and sad... I'll miss them very much as we move to other towns and go our own ways. I love you girls! God bless...

The week of graduation I was throwing out ideas for summer jobs. Deciding that beginning in a local hospital would be too much too soon, especially since I knew I'd like this move this fall, I searched for temporary positions and nannying gigs. But I knew who I wanted to work for - my personal physician, Dr C, at a family practice. I asked her about job opportunities a few days before graduation, and Dr C said she'd been needing someone to work full-time this summer, which I knew was a completely God-designed blessing! I've been working for her ever since that week in May. I am so glad I could be trained by and work under someone I highly respect - as a family practice doctor, Dr C on epitomizes the compassion and intelligence you want in a personal physician. Her other nurse, Vicky, is a retired Health Department employee and has enough smarts and wits to keep us floating through the busy days. Recently Vicky has been taking afternoons and days off to enjoy the summer, and I'm loving the responsibility and autonomy of my position.

Biggest blessing I've discovered so far - people like nurses. It's just such a pleasant surprise to find! People are inclined to like nurses, or at least respect them in varying degrees, and turn to them for advice and comfort openly. And for me to realize I actually a body of knowledge to help with and heal with, and that people need it, is a nice feeling. A really, really nice feeling.

As for the NCLEX... Okay let's simply say that I didn't deal well with the stress. The earliest exam appointment I could register for was June 26th, six weeks after any nursing exams or review in school. I reviewed study books casually for about two weeks before the appointment but sad to say I was more content to soak lazily in apathetic fear. I kept telling myself that I knew what I knew and that'd have to be enough, but the fear that what I knew wouldn't cut it or that my test-taking skills were null and void after such a long break consumed me. When I finally arrived to the testing center, dosed up on Zofran so I wouldn't throw-up, I was in a state of despair. The exam took me four hours for 150 questions. Four tortuous hours were I knew nothing and the questions were so big and why oh why don't I remember everything and geez how many questions on hyperthyroidism are they gonna give me oh my gosh that prolly means I've missed them all and dear God here's another and I don't know anything about triaging and prioritizing isn't my thing and I've never even done prioritizing before!!!

Afterwards I was mostly dead. And then Monday I found out I passed.


So I'm now an BSN RN.

My twenty-first birthday is this Saturday.

And maybe I can find a job in a hospital this August.


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