Monday, June 19, 2006


Today is where my book begins

Over the weekend, I was trying to come up with something to contribute to the premier issue of Change of Shift (a blog link/carnival/round table/what have you for nurses, by nurses, about nurses), since I thought it was somewhat fitting that it is starting just about the same time as I start my career as a nurse. But for whatever reason, I was coming up blank. I will be the first to admit, that deep and meaningful prose is not exactly my strong point. Then, while listening to my XM radio while reading email, I heard a song that sums up my thoughts far better than I ever could. So, with my thanks to Ms. Natasha Bedingfield, and her song, Unwritten, here are my thoughts on becoming a nurse.

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way
Aside from some of the more obvious "nontraditional" aspects of my life, my entire time in nursing school was also nontraditional. Being the first class of "on-line" nursing students in the area caused more than a few raised eyebrows. We even had one faculty member tell us that our program was too easy (mostly because we only had 2 hours of pharmacology lab scheduled instead of 3 hours, since we did not need an hour of lab time for teaching us math). Of course, this just inspired us to prove her wrong. And that we did, when 7th quarter came around, all 19 of us passed our outcome exam on the first try, something that no class had ever done before. If you believe in statistics, this means there is a 95% chance that we will all pass our boards on the first try.
There is also the whole aspect of being a man in nursing. I had a couple of nurses during clinicals who seemed to be someone annoyed with my presence (mostly during my OB/GYN rotation), but for the most part I've always felt welcomed on the unit. It was nice to have another man as a preceptor, and it turned out that he was an excellent nurse. Definately gave me a role model to follow in the future.
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inner visions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
As I sit here, waiting for my diploma and authorization for the boards, I'm trying to figure out what the future will be like. Between my career change, and the possibility of Buster's new job, everything ahead of me is unknown. Completing nursing school while working full time, and managing to not only maintain existing relationships, but also develop new ones, has shown me that I can do anything I want to. Nursing is a field with virtually limitless options. It is up to me to discover those options, and go after the ones I want. No one else can or will do it for me. I have an idea of where I want to go, but who knows how that vision will change. If you'd asked me 10 years ago when I graduated college the first time if I'd be finishing nursing school 10 years (almost to the day) from then, I would have said "He*l no". As of right now, I plan on going on in school and becoming a nurse practioner. Hopefully that will not take me another 1o years, but if it does, so be it. I have long ago learned to trust in fate, and to go along with what life gives you instead of fighting against it. I simply open my arms and accept it as it comes. As my mother says in her email signature "Life is like trying to hug an elephant"
Today really is where my book begins.....
PS. This metaphor is a bit scary, considering that my first quarter clinical instructor told me she one day expects to see a book of nursing care plans with my name under the title. I just remembered that as I was writing this. Not sure if this is a sign of fate, or just a really bizarre coincidence.
Of course, she also said she could see me being a neonatal transport nurse. We'll have to see on both of those things!

Okay, a few comments:

(1) That was a great post. Gave me goosebumps, remembering back to my nursing graduation and waiting for "the Boards".

(2) Isn't it weird that a woman will choose a man to be her OB/GYN doctor and do all the exams and deliver the baby, but to have a guy on an OB floor freaks some people out? I've never understood that mind set at all.

(3) If you DO write that book on nursing care plans? Make 'em easy! LOL! Actually, that was one of my strengths back in my days on the floors. The only thing keeping me from getting my BSN is the thought of having to deal with nursing diagnoses which I think are ridiculous.

(4) I'm linking to you under "Nurses of the Blogsphere"

Thanks for submiting this to Change of Shift...
Great post. And best of luck to you in your career. One piece of unsolicited advice: wherever you land as a new grad, make sure you get a decent-length orientation program. I started as a new grad in the 4th busiest ED in the nation just three years ago - very intimidating, needless to say - but thanks to a structured 16-week orientation, I felt ready to be on my own, and I wouldn't choose any other specialty now. Good luck, and I look forward to reading your blog.
I love that the world of nursing (and nursing students) have an outlet like blogging to link us all across the globe. Congrats on your graduation, good luck on the boards - (proove the online nursing school sceptics wrong and ace them!) Looking forward to reading your posts as a new nurse. (I start 2nd semester this fall)
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