Man, when I think about my journey to becoming a registered nurse, I often sigh with such relief because it was honestly the hardest time of my life. NOT TO DISCOURAGE ANYONE. I will always be my most honest self with you. Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we?
I was 20 years old. My daughter was 1 month old, I had just graduated from LVN school and I was waiting to sit for the NCLEX. It was hard for me to find time to study and be a new mommy. So in all honesty, I took the NCLEX LVN 3 times! Yeah, I said that correctly. I failed twice before passing. I almost didn't want to sit for boards again, but I knew I had to. So there I was, finally passing my LVN and then it was time to start looking for a job. I started as a home health LVN for a small agency in West Covina. I did that for about 7 months, then I started taking pre-reqs to maybe one day become an RN. I was getting tired of the home health feild and knew I wanted to work in a hospital. I saw that Children's Hospital LA was hiring, so I applied. By the Grace of God, I got an interview and was hired at my dream hospital! Working alongside so many amazing RNs, I knew I had to buckle down on my pre-reqs in order to start nursing school. So I worked 3 days a week as an LVN, then I did online classes and in person classes on my days off. There was a time I was taking 4-5 classes at a time! I would do homework in between cooking, study when the kids were asleep, and when I needed I asked family to babysit so I can really focus. I did all my general classes first, and when I was ready I ddi something called the trifecta at East LA college. The trifecta was all 3 sciences in 1 semester. Yes I did anatomy, physiology and microbiology in one semester. I would go to class Monday - Thursday from 0700-1200. And work Friday-Sunday night shift! I would leave school at 12 get home about 1245, pick up my kids, clean house, cook and get them all settled, wait for Danny to come home then I would meet with classmates to study. This went on for 4 months! I was tired. I remember so many days crying to my grandparents, explaining how tired I was. But I kept chugging, I knew what my goals were and I also knew that this lifestyle wouldn't last forever. Finally, it was tine to apply to nursing school. I applied to all my local community colleges. And guess what, I got into 3 out of the 5 I applied to. But my dream school was Citrus College. It was 5 minutes from my house, and I completed 80% of my pre-reqs there so it would be perfect! And out of 150 applicants with only 4 being chosen, I was one of them. That was one of my most favorite moments. I couldn't believe that it was finally happening. I was going to start nursing school!
I know that my story is very vague, and seems like it was easy, but thats far from it. To get into nursing school, takes time, energy, dedication and determination. It's not stopping when you hit road blocks. It's not making excuses, it's continuing to fight when you feel defeated. There were SO many times I wanted to quit and just hang out with my kids. But I knew it would all be worth it. And that still is true today. I don't regret anything. Would I suggest finishing school before having kids? 1000% yes, but ya know what you work with what you got! No one has it easy, it takes different sacrifice but its DOABLE. With support and love from those around you.
Write down a schedule, write down your goals, and stick to it. Get a timer. Stay disciplined. You got this.