I can not believe I’m writing this but…This is the last week of classes for my cohort! Although there is still a long road ahead before graduation, the idea that I won’t have any more classes, assignments, group projects, or exams is so exciting!
I have to be honest, and say that everyday, I still wake up and am surprised at how far I’ve gotten and how quickly the last 13 months have gone. As I write that, I realize that it sounds like I doubted myself, but, really I just feel thankful and amazed that I have been successful in the practical nursing program and have made it this far.
Nursing school is strange because it makes you question your own sanity yet at the same time, be able to celebrate the success of yourself and your classmates. Although it’s not the end of the road yet, I am super-thankful for all the instructors and my classmates.
That being said, there were times that were extremely tough, and there were many stressful moments of questioning my own competency. As well, there was always the 24-48 hours after exams of waiting and obsessing over whether or not I actually passed that exam or not. In this program, we get three re-writes for exams, must maintain an average of 70% throughout each course, maintain at least 80% attendance, and score a minimum of 70% on all final exams. The standards are high. Although I missed a few classes, and had a few scares on exams, I luckily met all the expectations and actually surprisingly never had to use a rewrite!
I can of course attest that I did put in a lot of hours of studying before exam-time and made sure I was constantly reviewing material through each course and term.
But I think the the thing I owe my success to is finding balance. I made sure that I took (most) Sundays off from everything in order to recharge and relax. Sometimes I even took the whole weekend! Although nursing school is serious, I made sure that I had downtime by spending time with loved ones, going out into nature, or just doing the mundane tasks of going to a yoga class, cooking dinner, or doing laundry. I relished in these activities, and really believe that because I carved out space and time in my busy schedule for stuff like this, I was able to come into class on Monday refreshed and ready for the week.
I plan to use the same tactics to get me through the next month and a half of practicum. I’m so looking forward to building on the skills I worked on in Term 2 and 3 and also excited about the group and instructor I’ll be working with. I’m also very happy to say that I will be at Vancouver General Hospital, which is not only close by to where I live, but also the biggest hospital in the Lower Mainland! Stay tuned for the next few posts of my practicum experience!