I was one of the altruistic nursing students. I wanted to HELP people. I wanted to SAVE LIVES and STAMP OUT DISEASE! It came as a huge surprise to me that I was going to have to digest and metabolize a plethora of information and then regurgitate it, processed through my common sense filter on nursing school tests. Any student who has taken a test in a nursing program will commiserate with this: nursing tests are not normal. THEY ARE TESTS ON STEROIDS! To make matters worse my school graded on a bias. This meant anything less than an 82% is failing. I was under prepared and overwhelmed.
In walks Ms Noreen. In all honesty she kind of looked like a deranged Teletubby. I was mired in my personal discouragement and the last thing I wanted to hear was the New Jersey transplant talk about my fated career. She droned on for a while as I tried to hold back my tears of frustration and inadequacy. Then she said exactly what I needed to hear. She said, "The important things about nursing, the love for humanity, for people, the ability to care when these patients don't deserve your understanding, these are the things we can't teach you. We will give you the educational foundation, and if you're willing to work harder than you've ever worked we will work with you. But if you're just here for the money, get out now before you invest any more time." I wasn't the only student to sit up just a little straighter in her seat. I can only assume some were shifting uncomfortably and considering their objectives, but for myself it was my call to arms. I knew that day that I would become a nurse and be the best nursing student I could possibly be in order to be the best nurse I could possibly be.
So I'd like to thank Ms Noreen for inspiring me into this career. The past ten years have been amazing (and frustrating and scary and sad and wonderful). I am proud to be defined by what I do and I'm proud to say I'm a NURSE!