Friday, December 16, 2016

I Graduated...

One week ago today I graduated from nursing school with my BSN.  Graduated.  From nursing school.  I am still a little surprised that it is over with, but am thrilled that I am getting ready to start my career.

I have given it a lot of thought about what I should write/say about my graduation and it has taken me a bit of time to wrap my head around this accomplishment, because it is quite the accomplishment. If you had asked me last week if I was excited, my answer was just, meh.  I was excited, but for different reasons.  I was most excited about getting my first choice nursing job and not so much about the actual graduation.  I will try to explain my way of thinking the best that I can.

In our house if you say you are going to do something, you do it.  No excuses, no questions about it, you said you would do it, so you do it.  End of the story.  I know, we sound really hard core at our house, don't we?  In my mind finishing nursing school was just me finishing something I set out to do.

It wasn't until we were talking with our friend Joe last week that I realized how difficult it is to accomplish such a thing as an adult and that my completing a BSN was indeed a big deal.

I know that my graduating nursing school should be my proudest accomplishment, but it is not.  My proudest accomplishment is what it took me to get there.

If I am being completely honest, I have always felt like sort of a failure for not going to college right out of high school.  I am not tooting my own horn here, but I am too smart to have not gone to college.  At the time, I did not know what I wanted to do, so I started working and eventually fell into sales jobs, which do not always require a degree.  Still, anytime someone would ask me about college I always felt like a failure.

I knew in 2007 that I wanted to be a nurse.  I had plans to go back to school, but the timing was just not right for me.  I received a promotion at work and felt satisfied with what I was doing so I carried on and did not really think about it again.  The thought of taking classes as a 26 year old non-traditional student seemed quite daunting at the time.  Boy was my 30 something self in for a surprise later!

I was satisfied and happy up until I finished Ironman Louisville in 2012.  Actually, when we hiked the Grand Canyon for the first time in 2011, I met my friend Molly who was a nurse, and a seed was planted in my mind to consider school.  I quickly put the thought out of my mind rather quickly because I was satisfied at work.  I always kind of thought "what if" though.

During Ironman Louisville I met a girl named Anne during the bike portion.  We started talking and I learned that she was a nurse.  The thought crept into my mind again, but I quickly pushed it out again.  It was 90 something degrees and I had an Ironman to finish.  I never forgot about Anne though and her being a nurse.

After I finished Ironman Louisville I was met with a great deal of disappointment, which is quite common after such an achievement.  I was pretty depressed and felt rather lost.  What was I going to do next?  I sure as hell was not going to do an Ironman again...yet.  Suddenly the thought of Anne came into my mind as well as my friends Molly, Heather, and Jamie who are all wonderful nurses.  I knew it was time to make a career change.

Fast forward to a few structural changes at work and I felt like I had the flashing sign I needed to make me pull the trigger.  I really felt that if I could work full time and train for an Ironman, that I could put that extra training time to classes.  Fast forward to January, and I was taking 13 hours of classes while working full time.  I also trained for a marathon that year, because that is how I roll.

My very first day of class in January 2013.  

Some how, I managed to complete a BSN degree, which is a four year degree, in exactly four years.  Those first two years I worked my butt of to do so.  I took a full load of classes, worked full time, and was either training for a marathon or an Ironman, all while maintaining the house and being a wife.  I am not exactly sure how I did it, but I did.  That right there is what I am most proud of.  I did it, and I have myself and Ken to thank for it.

BSN graduate with the RN pending


lindsay said...

Congrats Keri! No shame in not having gotten it sooner - but kudos for you for going back for it. It also says a lot that you didn't waste 4 years (and who knows how much $) before you knew what you wanted to do. Hardly any 18 year old thinks that well! Haha.

Melanie said...

Congratulations!!! I think it's better to wait until you knew for sure what you wanted to do. I received a lot of grief back in the day when I didn't go straight to grad school after college. I knew that I had no idea of anything I wanted to get a graduate degree in, so it seemed like a waste of money. I just finished up a graduate program that didn't even exist when I finished college... I'm so glad I waited. Congrats on finishing school and the big day of graduation! Even though I'm done, we don't have a ceremony until May so I am looking forward to that closure. Enjoy every minute of celebrating!