The Beginning Of a Long and Hard Journey
(My first clinical! Check out those bangs!!! Hah!!)
Nursing school was an incredibly difficult journey! I knew that Nursing was all I wanted to do, but I didn’t realize how hard the path getting there would be! I applied to my first choice nursing school and was rejected. I had to wait another few months, fill out a million other forms, and apply for a second choice school. I got on the wait list, and I was finally excepted 2 weeks before the semester started. And to think I thought THAT was the hard part!
I will never forget my first day of nursing school. I arrived in my crisp and freshly ironed scrubs with my school’s name perfectly embroidered in the corner! It was SO exciting to have those on! I was a REAL nursing student! The professor introduced herself and began to draw a pie chart on the board. She started asking us about our lives and what responsibilities we had. As we yelled them out, she wrote them on the board. She basically split up all of our current responsibilities into a tiny quarter section on the chart, and then explained that the other 3 quarters were devoted to nursing school. She said “This will be your life for the next 2 years.” It was a rude awakening!
She was very right! In order to succeed and do well in nursing school, it was going to require a ton of devotion and sacrifice! I struggled greatly through my first year. I truly did not comprehend how much studying and work it was going to take! I was meeting in my professor’s office every week, and I just couldn’t get on top of my nursing game!
The Meeting I Will Never Forget
I’ll never forget that meeting in this one professor’s office after I failed a nursing class. I was so discouraged and felt extremely defeated. I don’t really know why I kept going back to her because she was never really helpful or encouraging when I went. I think I just thought that this is what I needed to do when I was struggling! I later realized that the only person who was going to make a difference in my success was myself!
As I sat at this professor’s desk and discussed what it was going to take for me to re-take this specific course and what my new graduation timeline looked like, she began to speak negatively about my situation. These exact words: “maybe nursing just isn’t for you” came out of her mouth. My heart broke and I began to cry right in front of this professor! I felt so meek and stupid! This was the same professor that students dreaded to get in clinical, and the same professor who loved to make you feel really small during post conferences by pointing out the flaws in your performance from the day.
Fuel For My Fire
I remember going home and calling my parents crying. They were so upset but also felt bad that I had to retake the class. Unlike my professor, they believed in me. To be honest, this professor’s negative words fueled my fire. I was determined to turn my study habits and performance around. I was going to be the best nurse one day, and I was going to graduate from one of the hardest majors in the U.S. today despite any setbacks I had encountered!
I totally pulled a Chip and Joanna Gaines and did a little Fixer Upper with my nursing school game! I was still the same Kelsey and same classes at hand, but I revamped my study game! I was in those books 24/7! I studied my tail off! I utilized resources that I hadn’t before. I read EVERY chapter before lecture, and I stayed after to complete the outlines as well! I was dominating and it felt so good!
I quit making excuses about what I did and didn’t study, and I just did as much as I could! It was then that my low C average went all the way up to a High B! I was so proud of myself and I could FEEL how hard I worked! I had to cut a lot of the social gatherings with friends out and give school priority over almost everything! THAT mindset was a game changer!
Graduation, My first Job, and Dr. Oz!
I graduated in December 2012, and I have never been so proud of myself! I remember having to walk by that one professor to shake her hand during pinning! It took everything in me to not jerk my body and say “WHAT NOW B?!!” Hahaha okay that’s a little rough, but that’s how much emotion I had stored up! I got my pin and the ceremony came to an end. I had OFFICIALLY graduated nursing school!
(First Day of Orientation for my FIRST JOB!)
I took my NCLEX about a month later, and passed on my first attempt! I accepted my first job on a cardiac step down unit, and my career took off! I moved to Georgia shortly thereafter when I got engaged! I finally got married and took my current position as a Float Nurse!
In my first year of Nursing, I received the The Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses! This is a very prestigious nursing award that honors nurses who go above and beyond in their care! In 2015, I was a finalist on the Dr.Oz show for his National Nurse Search! I flew out to NYC where I appeared on the show and became known as the “Singing Nurse” because of my performance and song I made up about why I should be Dr.Oz’s show nurse! It was an incredible experience (Dr.Oz Preformance! Click Here!)! In 2016, I received the Nurse Excellence Award for my Unit at my current hospital and was nominated for the Atlanta Journal Constitution Nurse Excellence Awards! Every year, my hospital kicks off Nurses Week by honoring one nurse from each unit for their standout performance year long! It was an incredible honor and a beautiful surprise ceremony with family and friends! I also had the amazing opportunity to speak at a National Nursing Rally in front of our Nation’s Capitol this past May 12th, standing up for Patient and Nurse Safety! It was an incredible experience! If you asked me in nursing school after that encounter with my professor if I would have seen myself doing these things, I would have told you NO!
Never Let Anyone Say You Can’t
I say all of this not to boast who I am or what I have achieved in my career thus far, but to make a big, fat, giant statement that you’re about to hear below….
Not all nursing instructors are mean. Not all instructors eat their young and belittle their students. I know some really AMAZING professors and instructors out there who truly care about their students! I am so thankful for those caring and passionate individuals!
However, there are those still out there making statements like the one that was made to me. Not believing in very capable students and pushing away good nurses who just need a little encouragement and guidance. That is not okay, and I need every student out there who may be struggling or just needing someone to believe in them to hear me loud and clear:
If I would have listened to that instructor and quit what I knew deep down inside was achievable, I would have made the biggest mistake of my life. I LOVE my job and go to work every day thankful to be able to make a difference! Thankful to be able to take care of others in their worst moments! Thankful to work alongside some really strong and amazing individuals! Thankful every single day to be a nurse! Every blood, sweat, sacrifice, and tear that went into my effort to become a nurse was completely WORTH IT!
Had I listened to that instructor who said to me: “maybe nursing isn’t for you…” I would have missed my calling.
Don’t ever let what anyone says keep you from pursuing your dreams and goals! EVERYBODY is capable of what their heart desires. Work hard, push through, stand strong, pray, and go prove the nay-sayers wrong! You got this!
She thought maybe nursing wasn’t for me…..
Well it turns out that it was EVERYTHING for me!
Your Heart Is Mine,