The end of semester two. I cannot believe how quickly this semester has gone (I’m sure I say that each semester). I was regretting going through the summer when all of my friends are out and about enjoying their summer and i’m studying or at school, but the pay off i’m now realising is that I have gained so much more by sticking it out. I’m ahead, heading into semester three in September, and I am halfway through the entire course.
I will have three weeks off for summer break, and we will make the most of it. We have lots of things planned and I am really looking forward to a break. I drive an hour each way to get here and I am going to enjoy not commuting for a few weeks. I am excited to spend time with the children going on day trips, sleeping in, late bedtimes and becoming beach bums.
I am also excited for Semester three to start and moving forward with the course. I am looking forward to a new clinical placement and the challenges and experience that will bring. I am also interested to see what joining the September starts will entail, how our group dynamics will change with the increased numbers and what the new lab will look like. There are a lot of challenges ahead but also a lot of exciting times. It’s strange but exciting to think that this time next year we will be doing consolidation and will be well on our way to becoming license holding RPN’s.
Moving along in semester two is easier than I thought (so far). After the disaster that was semester 1, I thought I was in store for more of the same. Things seems to be better at the moment, and with only four weeks left I can’t see how wrong things could go.
I was worried about the children being off for the summer. It’s working out so far, the little one has gone to an extended visit to Grandma and Granddad’s farm in the UK. He’s having a blast, he has two sets of grandparents to keep busy and an endless supply of cousins to play with. He has signed up for soccer, athletics and tennis to keep him active, and the weather over there is fantastic (unusual for a British summer!).
The big one is working her first full time summer job as a Camp counselor. The first week was a rough one for her, but she handled it well and is doing amazing. She is tired and grumpy but I’m hoping that she will get used to working long hours soon. I’m still driving her around but she is cycling to work a couple days a week and it doesn’t seem as hectic as before.
I was regretting going through the summer at the start of the semester, my friends are hanging out at the beach with their kids or having pool parties and I’m stuck as school, but it’s only one summer and I will be thankful when I’m finished earlier than expected. We have lots planned in August and I will make the most of my time off. There will be lots of beach days and pool parties. We even having a flying lesson planned.
Our first clinical placement. I’m so nervous about this, but excited to get it done. I’m not really sure what to expect. Growing up in England, my friend Elli lived in an ‘old people’s home’ as we called it. Her parents ran the home with nurses and care staff, and they lived upstairs in the flat.
I really disliked going there, we went in through the kitchen, someone was always in there, cooking meals for the residents or care staff having a break. Once through the kitchen we had to walk through the corridor to get to the flat. The residents were everywhere, some shouting for the nurse, some wandering around, and some just sitting there. It scared me; I could not walk through there fast enough.
Those thoughts are with me as I entered the long term care facility for the first time, I am not late but right on time, still I feel rushed. I’m trying to get in but the door won’t open, everyone is waiting for me on the other side. Not off to a great start. You need a code to get in, I had no idea.
First day and we are just shadowing, my psw is nice and shows me around. She’s chatty and it takes the nervous edge off. She explains what happens in the morning and how everyone makes it to the dining room for breakfast. I’m trying to help out where I can but I feel like I’m just in the way. Rough first day, hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Day two and we are able to help where we can using the skills we have learnt in class so far. We are able to help feed the residents and do some basic care for them. It feels a bit strange at first; hopefully it will get better with time. Today was much better and I’m looking forward to next week.
The placement has flown by and we are leaving. My confidence has grown, I’m answering call bells by myself and I have learnt so much.
I quit my job and became a full time nursing student. Several people were thrilled about my career change, my friends think I’m crazy but are very supportive, my old co-workers were supportive too. My mother thinks I’m certifiably insane, “why would you become a student at your age?” I had one person tell me that I was “too old” to go through school and then start a career.
I’m doing it! How hard could it be? Other people do it. I was so unprepared and naive. A month into the first semester and I’m having a breakdown. I met a good friend for coffee. “How’s school going?” she asked and I burst into tears. “What was I thinking? I can’t do this. I wonder if they’ll give me my old job back?”
I was struggling, struggling a lot. I was juggling school, the commute to school, and the kid’s schedules all by myself. I felt like I was drowning in school work, which I didn’t understand, the commute was killing me, the kids were home alone more than I liked and missing activities, we were eating take out, frozen pizza and cereal for dinner.
After a good talking to by my friend, I pulled myself together and spent the entire weekend organizing, creating calendars, schedules, and meal plans. This was a turning point for me, things felt as if they were somewhat under control again.
I learnt about batch cooking and meal prep so we can have homemade meals, even when I’m not at home to cook them. I re-organised the kid’s schedules so I’m not running from one activity to the next. I created a calendar so I know what assignments are due and when. I can’t do much about the commute, I chose Fleming for a reason, so I’ll learn to like it and enjoy the quiet time in the car before I get home.
Things are going well, I’m enjoying school. I passed my first semester and I’m using my planning from semester one to help me get through semester two. The kid’s are doing well and not eating cereal for dinner anymore, even my mother is warming to the idea!
Why I chose a new career as a nurse.
In my previous career I was an ECE. I worked at the local YMCA teaching pre-school aged children physical literacy. I taught Gymnastics, sports, music and movement, along with creative and sensory arts. I loved my job, it was the perfect “mum” job. I only worked term time, I had summers and holidays off with my own children. I was at home for before and after school.
As my own children grew, I had more time on my hands, the more I yearned to do something more challenging to fill the extra time. I tried online classes, I tried creative classes, I also tried teaching classes to teenagers as well as toddlers at work, I tried creating new classes for work and became passionate about sensory play for toddlers, once the programming was implemented, I was back to square one.
December 2015, the YMCA cut my programming and my hours. I was upset, I loved my programs. Now I had even more time on my hands! After talking with some friends, someone suggested going back to school, do something you’re passionate about. I thought about it, a lot. I thought about what careers I would like to do, I thought about a total career change or a partial pathway change of my current career. After a while the idea grew on me. I tried an online courses but found I couldn’t fit the classes and school work in with my job and my children’s schedules. I was discouraged.
Fast forward another six months, I took a deep breath, left my job and become a full time nursing student. My children have reduced their after school activities to fit in my new schedule and we are adapting to the changes surprisingly well. The fear has subsided and we are doing great.