Nurse Feature: It's Never Too Late to Follow Your Dreams!
Some people know what they want to do from a young age. I’ve run into a few nurses that knew almost all their lives they wanted to become a nurse. I was not one of those people. When you are young you’re expected to know what you want to do and where you want to go to college. Not me, at that age, all I cared about was getting out of my parents’ house to finally experience life. I grew up in a strict house where I was not allowed to do much as a teenager that was not school-related. I was lucky to go to a friend’s house for a sleepover. So, when I discovered what I wanted to do, I felt that I was sure about my career choice.
I chose this line of work after a few years of not knowing what to do career-wise after I graduated from high school. I went to college right after and picked a program that I thought I might be good at. I ended up changing my mind after the first year of classes. I took another year after that in culinary school and decided that was not for me long term. I ended up taking a few years off from college. I decided I was not going to waste time or money until I knew what I wanted to do with my life. My parents were not happy that I did not finish college right away. To this day I still struggle with my dad about finishing college. It’s difficult for him to understand the challenges of nursing school and working as a healthcare professional. My mom has always been my rock. She is the supportive and understanding one.
I did not make this career choice because someone told me to do it or because it had job security and paid well. Because let’s face it, nursing does not pay us enough for what we all do and have to experience. I chose it because I genuinely enjoyed caring for people and improving lives. Life brings many experiences. One of those experiences is loss. It took losing my grandparents whom I was very close to and that helped me decide what path I needed to follow. My family really believes in caring for our family at home if able. Culturally it is tradition to care for your elders (I am from a multi-cultural home). I started to help them at home as they declined in health with basic care. I gave my mom a mental and physical break because caregiver fatigue is a real thing. I really enjoyed helping and spending time with them. Not only because they were my grandparents but because it felt good being able to be of service to them. Around that time, I signed up for the nurse’s aide course and became an aide. As sad as it was to see my grandparents pass it also showed and guided me to my career path. Before that, I had no real direction. For me, that was an important time in my life because it was then I decided to further my education and become a nurse.
I worked as an aide for a few years, who am I kidding it was almost 10 years! I went back to college at 28 years old and obtained my technical diploma for practical nursing. I graduated spring of 2014 with some pretty awesome ladies. While working as an LPN I worked on getting my RN. I was able to enter the nursing program in January 2020. The school went on spring break and COVID-19 hit. You can imagine what challenges came with learning from an at-home setting.
It may have taken me longer than some students to get this far. But the experience that got me to this point is irreplaceable. I had the privilege to work with some amazing nurses and CNAs that were great friends and mentors. I have learned so much from all those I have had the opportunity to work with.
PRN Healthcare did help me immensely with getting through nursing school. Working full-time while pursuing my RN degree would have almost been impossible! Working as an agency nurse helped me with flexibility. I chose my own hours to work around class, clinical, and 90 hours of clinical transitions. I have seen so many nurses use up their vacation hours or having to struggle to switch shifts. It was one less thing off my shoulders. I am so grateful I made the choice to become a full-time nurse at PRN Healthcare. I have graduated from nursing school with honors, and I’m now preparing to take the RN NCLEX. The studying never ends! I am considering taking a job at a hospital for more nursing experience. But I will continue as a part-time nurse through PRN Healthcare too.
If I could give advice to any nurse looking to continue their education but are hesitant to do so. Do not be afraid to take the leap! I guarantee you will not regret it. It is possible. I’ll end with a quote that was on a clock that my grandmother gave to me as a High School graduation gift. This is very fitting as she is one of the reasons why I became a nurse.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt.