28667 postsback to top
Posted 11 months ago
Going back to nursing school can be a scary thought at any age but setting educational goals and committing to reach them is crucial to your success. In August of 2011 I completed my Bachelor's in Nursing degree after being out of school for fourteen years. I had some reservations but online learning allowed me to complete the program as well as continue to work full-time. Now, I am on to the Master's program in nursing education at 40 years old. Looking at my life and career, I feel very blessed and fortunate for several reasons, but mostly because of where I started.
At eighteen years old, I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. Luckily, I had a wonderful support system– my family and boyfriend, soon-to-be husband. Knowing I wanted to go to college, but not really sure of what I wanted to do, I decided to enter the Licensed Vocational Nursing program to become an LVN in eighteen months. I worked as a nurse’s aide in a local nursing home to prepare myself for the medical field. At 20, I graduated from LVN school in August of 1991 and the same month began prerequisites for the Associates Degree in Nursing to become an RN. It took me until 1997 to achieve that goal, but I never stopped pushing forward.
Keeping myself focused was hard and stressful at times, but I am so glad that I was able to achieve what I set out to do. I wanted to be a mom and enjoy the fruits of my labor, so I didn't return to school until 2009. Once again, I was a nursing student and one class at a time, I graduated with my BSN. Now, 2012 has begun with a new goal in my sights. Obtaining my Master's in Nursing Education is such an exciting thought, but taking the GRE and applying to graduate school was an intimidating experience for me. I often wonder if I will be a student forever.
Being a lifelong learner, especially in a constantly changing field like nursing, it is essential to stay competitive in our field. “Ancora Imparo” is what Michelangelo wrote when he was 87 years old. It means, “Still, I am learning”. I am encouraged and empowered by those words, so will I ever stop being the student? I sure hope not. I have been mentored by many wonderful nurses in my twenty years as a nurse and each of them have urged me to pursue the next level in my nursing career.
Furthering my education at 18 with a new baby was a scary venture, but so was taking the GRE at forty. My legacy is a mere attitude that I hope to pass on to my children, friends, family and anyone that I encounter. That is to have high ambitions, never stop learning, never stop being a student and always find yourself going back to school. No matter where you find yourself in your nursing career: student, teacher or mentor, it is important to have a mission. You never know how your words and actions might impact the life of someone like an 18 year-old trying to find his or her way in life, or a 40 year old wanting to go back to school.
Returning to the classroom can be a daunting experience but I encourage you to never quit, even when you run into a roadblock. The options are endless and technology has made going back to nursing school more accessible and exciting than ever. My expected graduation date with my Master's degree is May 2014. I will be 43 years old and I plan on walking across the stage with a huge smile on my face, with my husband of 25 years, 25 year-old daughter and 18 year-old son in the audience to cheer me on. Then, on to the next phase of life and maybe, heading back to school...again!