January 19, 2016, I started my 4th and final semester of nursing school, counting down 16 weeks until graduation. I marked my calendar, May 26, 2016, Nursing Pinning and Graduation with bright pink colors! I was going to graduate; I was going to start applying for jobs. I was in preliminary conversations for a nurse graduate job starting in September; I want this job more than anything. I had already decided to start my BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree program right after I took my NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) this summer. I know where I want to attend, and the commitment it will take for me to do it. I have also decided that I want to earn my MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) MSN is an advanced-level postgraduate degree for registered nurses and is considered an entry-level degree for nurse educators and managers) that I can use to become a nurse educator. I had everything planned out, and I could see this entire plan happening. A few people told me whom I would share my plans and dreams with, “why don’t you graduate first” or “how about you get to the end of this semester…” I was determined to prove anyone wrong; I was determined to prove that I could do what I set my mind to.
The semester started off, and I was getting organized, getting into the groove, setting up projects, getting into groups, even taking a tour of the clinical facility. It was my first weekend of work, after the start of the semester. I was my first of 16 Saturday mornings that I would leave work, go home to my home, study some, get some rest then rise for work that evening. It was the first of many Saturdays that I had done over the past two years.
This Saturday was different. I took a different route home, which changed my life. As I lay in the Trauma center, I knew I had to email my professor. I knew in my heart that I would have to withdrawal. I knew deep down in the pit of my stomach, I would have to wave the white flag in the air. She was extremely kind and got all the information that I would need, over a few days we communicated by email. I knew it was my decision and only I could make it. You see we were one week prior to our first exam, so I could still withdraw from the current term. I was told I would have a place for me in the fall. The pain, my broken, bruised body was feeling was nothing compared to the pain in my heart as I typed those words to her. Telling her of my decision to withdrawal and come back to finish in the fall. As I lay in the hospital bed, alone in the dark I cried the biggest, most hurtful tears as I slipped into sleep. It was several hours later, that I woke from a nightmare, confused on where I was, what was happening, and even who I was, that I all came rushing back to me. I was hoping that the nightmare I was living through was finally over and that I was home in my bed; safe, warm and whole. As I looked down and pressed the call button for my nurse to bring me pain medication I could see the purple, black and blue marks on my skin. I could see the large, heavy, black cast boot on my right leg that gently cradled my broken foot. I could see my injured knee; swollen, tight with fluid and blood. I could not move my right shoulder without great amounts of pain; my thumbs still were not following commands that my brain was giving them. The nightmare was real, and then I remembered the email and the decision that I had made just a few hours prior. The sobs started all over again; large tears rolling down my cheek, my breathing starting to be erratic…
When the sun rose into the sky that morning, I was at peace with the decision that I had made. I knew that it was the right thing to do. I needed to be sure that I would be successful this last term. I also knew that concentrating on healing my body so I could return to my life was very important. I needed to be able to work, so I could attend school and achieve all of my goals. The next thing I needed to do was tell 4 of the most important people in my life. I was able to do it, with some more sobs, but I could be a little more controlled since I knew it was the right thing to do.