Reflecting on my path to nursing is often difficult for me. My story is unique and unusual, but it is also why I celebrate my ambition and drive to do something impactful.
I remember what my life looked like the year before I decided to go to nursing school. My life was dysfunctional, chaotic, and I was not in a good place mentally or emotionally. I often felt hopeless, confused, and disappointed that my life was less than stellar.
I had dropped out of college, and I was not on the path that I started coming out of high school as an All-Star cheerleader and high performer. No, I wasn’t on drugs, nor was I a bad person. I was struggling with depression at that point in my life.
I was not prepared for the distractions that college gave to me. I lived a very strict life growing up, and it was hard to make good decisions because I was also a very curious person. I was introduced to different people, different ideals, different morals, and given the freedom to make my own choices.
I lost my discipline, my pride, and my sense of direction. I didn’t even recognize who I was when I looked in the mirror. It was as if I was an entirely different person. The year before I started nursing school, I was running away from who I was supposed to be, and I had no real answers as to how I became the person I saw staring back at me in the mirror.
My Answer Was in the Classifieds
When I was younger, I would read the newspaper with my grandparents. Then it just became a habit for me to read the classifieds each week and learn about new jobs. This was a habit that would prove to be very influential in my life.
One day, I ran across an ad for a certified nursing assistant program at the community hospital in the same town as the college I was attending. At that time, I had no steady income, and everything in my life was in jeopardy, so I jumped at the chance and decided to apply. I called the number in the ad and was told when to come to the human resources recruiting office to complete the application and take a math and reading assessment. I took this chance because by this point in time I had had so many jobs, that I was willing to learn how to do anything to survive. In high school, I was a cashier at KFC and McDonald’s, a summer camp counselor for the Department of Defense Youth Program, a youth mentor and tutor at the YMCA, and of course, a babysitter. I was confident that I would pass the assessment test, and of course I did.
The next step in my path to nursing, to my surprise, was a paid, 13-week training at a local health professional school with an opportunity for a full-time job at the hospital if I completed the training and …read more
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