I received this quaint little piece of paper in the mail yesterday. I received my diploma from Kirkwood late last week, but that was a little anti-climactic compared to this guy.
I was telling Kevin last night that I’m sort of amazed that I was able to actually finish nursing school when I did. I got pregnant in October, so my entire spring (read: last) semester happened during my first and second trimesters. During this, my most difficult semester of nursing school, I had to:
- Complete a 104-hour clinical internship, which for me meant working 12-hour overnight shifts in the Emergency Room on Friday and Saturday nights for two months
- Complete three regular clinical rotations, which were two full days each, including Community Health, Obstetrics, and Pediatrics
- Go to class every Thursday night from 5:30-8:20pm
- Oh yeah, and work 40 hours a week
Plus, all of these things had to be done with taking NO TIME off from work, because I didn’t (still don’t) have enough PTO saved up in order to be paid for my entire planned 12-week maternity leave. SIGH.
It’s weird to think about how hard it must have been while I was going through it, because at the time, I slogged through and it didn’t really feel that horrible. I think I got through it mostly by not thinking about it too hard, just pushing through the exhaustion one day at a time. If I’d really stopped to think about how insurmountable that peak would have seemed at the time, it might have been really easy to give it up, maybe drop out during the semester, possibly to never return like so many people end up doing. I’m glad I waded through it until the end, so that my time wasn’t wasted, and so that I could prove to myself, my partner, my family, and my baby that hard work and doing what seems to be impossible can actually have worthwhile results.
Now, if I can just concentrate on not losing my skills by the time I start looking for a nursing position in November or December, I’ll be good to go!