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The road to nursing… it wasn’t easy

I remember the day well. I was a junior in high school and had been contemplating “what do I want to do with my life?” I walked into a hospital with some of my cheerleading companions. Our cheerleading coach had to have all her female organs taken out and we were going to visit her. In that moment I felt like “this is where I belong”. I never thought about being anything else inside the hospital but a nurse/nurse practitioner. My one main thought was “I want to be to other families what those nurses have been to my family as we’ve watched far too many of our loved ones battle cancer.” I proudly proclaimed at my senior sports banquet “I am going to be a nurse practitioner”.

It didn’t take long for that bubble to get popped. Taking microbiology as a first semester freshman wasn’t my brightest idea. I had always worked hard in school, but no matter how much I studied, I didn’t know how to study for me. So I left my freshman year of college defeated. I had a 2.5 GPA and an adviser telling me I was never going to make it in the nursing world. Ever. My heart had one passion at the point, to be a nurse. So I made the decision to transfer to another campus of the school I was going to that required a lower GPA.

While it was incredibly hard to leave the main IU campus, I would never take back that decision for multiple reasons. At IUPUI I had teachers who invested in me and helped me learn how to study. I am not a quick learner. I have to spend hours studying to get average grades. But I love the sciences. I love the human body and I love anything that can help me take care of another human being. It was here I fell in love with exercise science. It was a long battle though, because my only thought still was “I want to be a nurse”. At the end of first semester of Junior year I finally claimed exercise science as my major. I knew it was what God was asking of me, but I still struggled with it. It wasn’t that I didn’t love exercise science, in fact to this day it is something I am extremely passionate about, but it wasn’t my dream.

My senior year I was able to go back to the main IU campus, and because of that I ended up some how by God’s grace graduating on time. I knew nursing still was not where I was supposed to go next, but it still burned on my heart. I went off to the east coast to pursue my masters in nutrition. I love nutrition. I love what it can do in the human body. I loved learning the biochemical breakdown of the body. But as much as I love nutrition, my heart still ached. I wanted to be a nurse.

It is funny though, because the moment I felt like it was okay to pursue nursing. I didn’t want to. Not because I didn’t want to be a nurse, but I was deathly afraid that everyone was right. That I would never make it. I apply to one school in NYC and got rejected. I wanted to stop there. But I felt the nudge to go on. God knew the perfect school and the perfect semester for me. All the details He worked out I won’t bore you with, but I will say this. I was in nursing school with the exact right people, at the exact right time, in the exact right school.

When I started nursing school I had already lost 2 grandparents and 1 uncle to cancer. 3 weeks into nursing school I spoke with my grandpa for the last time as he lost his battle to cancer. I remember his last words as he was dying 600 miles away from where I was “I believe in what you are doing you were created to be a nurse.”  The next morning I sat sobbing on the bathroom floor of my nursing school as I received the news he had taken his final breath. And I knew no matter how hard school was, there was purpose behind what I was doing.

Nursing school sucked. It was hard. I had no life. But I loved what I was learning. And I absolutely love where it has brought me. The interview process I’ll save for another time, but I can tell you this, the wait was worth it. The hard times were worth it. And I know without a doubt I was meant to be a nurse. My nursing career and education aren’t complete, I still have more schooling and many more steps to thank. But I’m thankful for the journey I started taking as a junior in high school. I’m thankful for where I am today because of all the trials I’ve been through to get here. Who knew the girl with the 2.5 GPA my freshman year of college would graduate nursing school with honors? God writes pretty cool stories, and thankfully because of His path I have 2 other careers I am passionate about as well.

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