This upcoming weekend, I will be attending a Preview Event for my nursing program. I am super excited because attending brings me a little closer to the official start date. I also have a lot of questions that I would like to have answered and this event seems like the perfect opportunity. Hopefully, I can bring back some very relevant information and share it with you guys!
Today I want to share a secret about me. So when I was in high school, I attended a Practical Nursing Program. For those who don’t know, the Practical Nursing Program is designed for students who wish to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. The total length of the program was two years. This program was connected to another high school. So I spent a half day at one school and the other half at my home school. We also attended many clinical at local hospitals in the Chicagoland area. After completing the program, I was eligible to take the NCLEX exam. So here are a couple of throwbacks pictures from my graduation in 2008. Some how I wish I could fast forward to 2020 and be done with this MSN already 😩
For sometime I have been going back and forth with the idea of going back to school. The decision has been difficult considering I already accumulated over $110,000.00 in debt. That figure alone would terrify anyone I’m sure.
Despite of, I still felt deeply that going back is something I should do. Let me explain why. When I was in high school, I attended a Licensed Practical Nursing Program and actually graduated. However, after not passing state boards after a two attempts, I felt defeated. I figured that college was a chance for me to think things over and give it a try with my with bachelors degree. I was pre nursing major for the first two years of undergrad.
However, I struggled adjusting to the curriculum and my grade point average took a hit. With nursing, you have to be competitive to get in and unfortunately I did not have it together. Conversely, I changed my major to Psychology. Doing so allowed me to use the last two years to get my grade point average back up and graduate on time.
Once I graduated, I was offered my first salary position. As a recent graduate, I was ecstatic and gladly accepted. After spending a year there, I found myself researching nursing programs. The job offered tuition reimbursement so I took that opportunity to take the prerequisites necessary.
Shortly after, I was offered another position with the federal government. I took the position because the pay was double what I was currently making. At the time, I was fairly young and money was a great motivator.
It was not long before I found myself unhappy and needing to GET OUT! I spent the next two years getting a masters degree in Public Administration. I figured that life lead me into the field of public service and that the program may be a good fit. I thought that this would be the right move because it would allow me to advance to the next level in my career.
After spending an additional two more years stuck at my current job, I started to think that I made yet another bad decision. I know, I know. You are probably thinking, “This girl is all over the place.” I could not agree more with you (laughing but serious). But the beautiful thing about life is it does not always have to make sense. At this point, the confusion I mentioned before became clarity. I knew NOW that nursing was it for me. This very moment was when I made the decision to go back to school to pursue this MS in Nursing degree.
From here on out it is crucial to be intentional with my moves. My advice to anyone struggling in life, know that it does not always have to be a straight path. Sometimes difficult decisions can come about, but still do what scares you. Typically those are the things that are most liberating and leads to the best outcomes. Often times we let the fear of the unknown hinder us from our potential.
So the verdict is in! In January 2019, I will be starting the Master’s Entry to Nursing Practice program at DePaul University. This program is designed to prepare students with a bachelor’s degree in any field to become a professional registered nurse through the NCLEX-RN examination.
This program is a two-year accelerated program, ideal for individuals who are careers changers, do not want to obtain another bachelor’s degree, or whose ultimate goal is advanced practice nursing or doctoral preparation in nursing.
This was my first choice for nursing school and I am more than excited to be starting soon. Below I attached my Acceptance Letter.
I started the process for applying to nursing schools by researching several schools through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (link listed below). The site always has the most current information on the different type of programs as well as the accreditation status of each school. Some things I looked for in schools were the amount and/or type of science prerequisites needed to apply, the length of programs, the degree awarded at completion, and the overall cost. Additionally, there are many route to become a registered nurse. The two options that were most attractive was the accelerated bsn and msn programs. The length of these programs are anywhere from 16 to 24 months and is ideal for career changers. This is ultimately how I formulated the list of schools I was interested in.
Next, I signed up for open houses when it became available. I took this opportunity to gather all the facts needed to make an informed decision to apply. Also, this was a chance for me to get to meet some of the faculty.
After completion of the opening houses, I had a clear idea which school I realistically wanted to attend. However, knowing how competitive schools can be, I played safe and applied to a couple of schools. I gathered all the required documents needed such as, recommendations, transcripts, and personal statements. I have successfully submitted all documents by the application deadlines and now I wait! 🙂