From Number Crunching to Nursing
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements in the course
401: Career Pathway Assessment
in the School of Nursing
Old Dominion University
From Number Crunching to Nursing
As a child, I had often thought about what it would be like to be a nurse. However, life led me down a different path as I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A) in Accounting from Appalachian State University in 1996. After years of struggling to find contentment with my career path, I finally settled into a career as a real estate broker. In this position, I found I really had a passion ...view middle of the document...
My family was very supportive and became my cheerleaders.
There was a small amount of culture shock in trying to retrain my brain from a business – black and white mindset to various shades of gray critical thinking. The thought of returning to school as an adult student was intimidating, but the challenge was refreshing. I began the Associate’s Degree in Nursing program after completing Anatomy and Physiology. My first year of nursing school at Wytheville Community College included studies in Geriatrics, Psychology and Maternity nursing.
I knew from the beginning that Gerontology Nursing was not for me. Clinical experiences only proved me correct. I enjoyed working with the elderly, but I needed a little more excitement in my day and became too emotionally attached to my patients. My clinical partner and I were assigned a patient to follow and care for during our eight week endeavor. Our patient had a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer with metastasis to the bone, brain and liver. As I watched her deteriorate each week, I started to begin each clinical morning nauseated with fear she wouldn’t be there that day. She made it through my clinical time and three weeks later she passed away.
Psychiatric nursing proved to be a difficult challenge as well. I was intimidated by psychiatric patients. Luckily for me, I could sign up for a weekend clinical and get my time in over two short weekends. I walked in knowing I didn’t care for psych nursing and walked out feeling the very same way.
Beginning the maternity rotation brought the anticipation of me finding my niche in the nursing field. What I found out was maternity nursing was not my forte. Bringing new life into the world is a beautiful thing, but one bad delivery was one too many for me.
I applied for a summer internship with Mountain State Health Alliance between my first and second year of nursing school. I was granted two rotations; one in critical care and one in the emergency department. This internship was a great learning experience and helped me find my niche. My critical care rotation offered a window into total patient care where I could analyze my patient’s lab values, h&p, progress notes and put the puzzle together to really advocate for my patient. I was intrigued by the acuity of illnesses and bedside procedures performed in the unit. The emergency department brought a different excitement and a new passion. I really enjoyed my fast-paced, high adrenaline days spend in the e.d. Each new day brought the anticipation of seeing new emergencies, or preparing patients for flights to bigger facilities. My summer set my education path so that I could be prepared to enter school for Nursing Anesthesia or Emergency Practitioner.
My second year of nursing school proved just as difficult as the first. I was offered a full-time intern position in the critical care unit for the remainder of my schooling. My school schedule was class on Monday...