Looking back to before I started nursing school, I thought I was prepared. I listened to all those that had come before me, I read the blogs, I scoured the forums and convinced myself that there is no way that nursing school is as hard as these folks make it out to be.
Typing this while on Christmas break after my first semester of clinicals and nursing classes are over, I couldn't have been more wrong. I believe I experienced every single human emotion possible over the last five months. Elation to finally be starting school, terror when I realized I was about to give my first subQ injection, and sadness when my first three clinical assignments never went home to their families. That's to say nothing of the ups and downs of studying, testing, and frantically pressing F5 on my computers keyboard while waiting for grades to be posted.
I did well my first semester in nursing school, I got amazing comments from all my clinical instructors, as well as the clients I cared for. I fell like this first semester was a tremendous learning experience and I did very well. The same cannot be said for my entire cohort however. With the recent difficulty changes to the NCLEX our school, in an effort to maintain their 100% pass rate! upped the difficulty of our theory classes quite significantly. The net result is that of the 68 students that entered the program this fall, only about 40 of us made it through to the spring semester.
I'm experiencing what I can only term as survivors guilt. I want to be elated and overjoyed that I passed my first semester, but it's hard when 3/4 of the people I spent more hours with then my family for the last five months do not get to continue on in the program. With that in mind I feel like I have to temper my personal excitement otherwise I'm rubbing it in their face that they didn't make it.
I had every intention of updating this blog on the regular while in actual nursing school. I found however that by the time clinical research, care plans, homework, studying, and ADLs were completed I didn't have time for anything but a little bit of decompression in front of the television and as much sleep as I could find.
I know my wife reads this blog on occasion, so I want to take a brief moment and thank her for taking care of our three wonderful children and shouldering most of the parenting and household duties while I'm in nursing school. Without her I don't know how I would have made it though this semester. She is there for me during my mini breakdowns and she is there to cheer me on in my successes. I love you hon!