So almost 3 years ago, I decided to change things up and completely switch careers to nursing. I put things into God's hands and was like "OK God, if this is where you want me, it will work out." And let me tell you, when God wants you on a path, He will move mountains to make sure that path is clear. Like a bulldozer with a spirited bucket! Here are some of the highlights:
I really wanted to get into Butler, they are the highest passing rate NCLEX school in the area, well respected by hospitals, and hard to get in to. Like 25% of the people that apply get in. Admission is numbers based, whichever 56 applicants have the highest grades in certain classes, test scores, etc. get in, and about 200-300 apply every semester. Woof! But, along I went in on this ride. Started taking prerequisite classes and dusted up on my studying skills. This old brain was a little rusty, but in October of 2014, I received that wonderful letter saying I was accepted. Woot! Woot! Now the fun can really begin!
My first semester clinical rotation, I was assigned to a nursing home. Well, I was already a CNA, so what was I really going to learn? Butler has a very strict policy of what they say goes, but in my heart I knew I was not supposed to be there. I spoke with the lead instructor and she basically laughed at me. The next class, she comes up to me and says one of the other students can't be at this hospital, could you trade? Well yes I can! She said it's your lucky day, I said, I believe in God.
Second semester was labor and delivery and pediatrics. God thought He would be oh so funny and give me a little real world experience and sent us Catherine. Hahahahaha. Try being in nursing school hearing about all the bad things that can happen to "elderly" mothers. Then in my rotation for c-section deliveries, the patient I was supposed to work with, didn't want a student. Funny. Turns out I had to have a c-section, and I'm pretty sure if I had seen one, I would have been ANXIOUS! God 3, Christi 0.
Another funny thing, my due date was May 9, my final for nursing 3rd semester was May 10. Hahahaha. I told my instructors what was going on and what the possibilities were. Well, as long as I finished clinically, I could take an incomplete in the class, finish over the summer, and then catch back up with my classmates in August. So on I went. Third semester clinicals are broken up into 2 sections, ICU/acute care and then behavioral health. Not saying behavioral health isn't important, but of the 2, ICU/acute is much more physically demanding. And what was my rotation? ICU/acute care first, then behavioral health. So there I was 9 months pregnant going to behavioral health therapy sessions. Everyone was most kind, funny, and incredulous that I was so close to my due date. But, I finished clinically on Tuesday May 3, and I hadn't missed once! In fact, in my whole tenure at Butler Nursing, I never missed a clinical hour. Yes, I would like a cookie for perfect attendance (lol!). On Wednesday, the 4th, we went in for our regular appointment and were admitted to the hospital. On Thursday, Catherine was delivered via c-section, On Sunday we were dismissed, on Monday I took a make-up test, and on Tuesday the 10th I took the final. Woof. God 10, Christi 0.
Fourth semester was especially difficult for me. The material is harder, more clinical days, and this cute 10-pound bundle of joy that didn't seem to interested in assisting with studying neuro dysfunction, endocrine, or musculoskeletal disease processes. But on I went. My clinical location and clinical instructor were great allowing me to use the pumping room, so I could reach my goal of 6 months. I was a student, what did the location care if I did or not, but they welcomed me and Ethel (my trusty Medela pump). Somehow I made it through the semester without failing. Was it my greatest academic achievement? Nope, but I made it! God 30, Christi 0.
Then I passed NCLEX!!! Along this whole journey, being a CNA -> CMA -> LPN, and finally RN, God has been there right along with me. His Hands have been there the whole time. There were so many times I would be crying all the way home, wondering how I was going to make it, but I did. God is so good. There are so many stories of my interactions with residents and patients, that I KNOW this is where I am supposed to be. Nursing is what I am supposed to do. I can talk to anybody, I cut the crap, and am kind of bossy. Which all tends to work out when caring for someone. This is the ministry I am supposed to do. I have never been so certain of something in my life.
I played around for about 3 months with the idea of a tattoo, 'Thy will be done". Drawing it on my hand, asking people for ideas about tattoos, etc. And I finally did it! I wanted it next to my hands, just as God has had His Hands on me this whole journey, I will now have my hands on people. And it is what I am supposed to do.
I hope people ask me about it, I hope I can share His story while changing their britches, telling them the importance of taking their pills, and holding their hand when they pass away.
God is so good and I am His servant.