Dude, tell me about this nursing gig. My exact words to my high school buddy, some ten years post graduation. It had not been my first choice. Or second for that matter. Truth be told, it was probably not in the top ten but at the age of 28 and with my life in what can only be described as a state of transition, I needed options. For different reasons, he too was experiencing a similar life transition and to my benefit, had done all of the necessary leg work in preparation for our next life journey.
Chemistry. Biology. Anatomy. Physiology. Prerequisites as they are referred to in the course curriculum. After wading through these and numerous others you may petition the college for entry into the Nursing School where you may sink your teeth into heartier more relevant courses. Courses about wound care, post-operative care, general medicine, drug administration, emergency procedures, pediatrics, ob, surgery, pharmacology…..
Is that all?
No. Then there are the clinicals that accompany the upper level classes where you actually spend real time working in the hospitals applying to real life situations the scenarios we have discussed in class and read about in our texts and workbooks. Long hours toiling on the floors of various hospital wards and units for absolutely no pay and no reward save completing a course requirement. But after completing this course of study you may be deemed worthy to graduate.
So, that’s it?
No. You’ll need a review course that goes over everything you just learned for graduation. That’s about a week of misery, but only 8 hours a day in a cramped classroom setting. Then, before you can go to work, anywhere, you have to pass a test, the National Licensing Exam. Only then will you get to call yourself a Registered Nurse and be eligible for employment. Fail this test and it’s over, all for naught.
Sounds great. Where do I sign up?
And so there we were, two high school buddies re-united for completely different circumstances about to embark on phase two of our adult lives. Fearful times made somewhat easier by the fact that I was back in my home town, my old bedroom, familiar faces, familiar haunts.
Our local college had a reputation as one of the best nursing colleges in the state and ranked very highly overall in the country. All good stuff. In no time at all we would be completely prepared to handle any experience with which we might be faced in our newly chosen field. The college of nursing through text, classroom studies and clinical practices would make sure we were ready. But they didn’t teach us everything…….
Come back tomorrow for a very special part two.