Monday, May 31, 2010

What the Future Holds

I'm a very, very realistic person. I know when things aren't going to work out the way I had hoped and I accept it. Some people say to me, "You're usually so optimistic, why the pessimism now?" It isn't pessimism. It's reality. I just know the truth, even before it's made itself clear.

Confused yet?

I did not get into the nursing program I applied to. I knew I wouldn't. Not because I didn't think I was good enough for the program or because I was just being a debbie downer looking for people to tell me otherwise. In fact, quite the opposite. It sometimes ticked me off when people would say, "Oh, be quiet, you'll get into the program, I know you will!"

Of course, once I told them the stupid requirements (or lack thereof) they would say, "Oh, well this is a different year. You'll be fine and get in!"

Not the case. And I knew it wouldn't be the case. I was just being real about the situation. The competition was fierce and I knew my B+ would ruin my chances of getting in (which, by the way, I still think is ridiculous).

And yet, I don't really care. I opened the letter, read the condescending message (seriously, it was so rudely written, even my parents couldn't believe it), laughed and said, "Wow. What bull shit. Oh well."

And the reason I didn't care? I decided a few weeks ago I wouldn't be doing the program, even if I had been accepted, I was just waiting to tell anyone outside of my parents in case I had been accepted and decided to do it (which I knew I'd still choose not to do it, but I like to err on the side of caution). Of course, I would have rather been the one saying, "thanks, but no, thanks," but that just wasn't the way the cookie crumbled.

When I first made the decision to go to nursing school over a year ago, I planned on doing an accelerated bachelor's (BSN) program that is offered at a few area schools for people who have already earned a bachelor's degree of some sort. It just seemed to make the most sense. Plus, I won't lie, I'm a bit of an education snob, I wanted the "better" degree. Having a dual-bachelor's degree excites me. I'm an overachiever. Anyway, I was enrolled at a private college in Indy and signed up to take prereq's for two semesters and then begin the nursing program May '10.

Long story short, I'm paying for NS out of pocket (no government or parental assistance). I already have loans from the first four years, I don't want anymore. I was under the impression the private school I was supposed to go to for NS would be giving me a lot of scholarship money based on my GPA from UD. Not the case. And I was not going to be $70,000+ in debt at 25. After our annual Siesta Key trip with my dad's whole family last June, I spoke to two of my aunts who are nurses about what I should do. They told me that since I already have a bachelor's degree, unless I wanted to get into management or teaching, I really only needed an associates.

I took their advice and ran with it. Dropped out of the private school, enrolled in community college, figured out what I needed to get done and started doing it. I realized I'd be eligible to begin in August of 2010 and was pleased with that. However, I never felt totally at ease with my decision. Something inside me still wanted that BSN. Over the past year, my displeasure with the school and it's employees has grown (various reasons, but I've just been very unhappy) and I began thinking about doing the BSN program again, just at a different school than the private school.

A contributing factor has also been the fact that I may want to be a nurse practitioner (see? overachiever.) eventually (as in, once my youngest is in school. It is something I have considered off and on for a looooong time), and a BSN is required to continue my education. I might as well just eliminate one step now and not kick myself later when I have to do the ASN to BSN program first, then go to NP school.

So after my last post regarding NS and having seen it written out, I realized I knew what I wanted to do, I just needed to muster up the strength to tell my parents yet again that I was changing my mind (see? I am fickle.). Maybe it's because this is all on my dollar now so it doesn't affect them as much, or maybe it's because they think it's the best choice, too, but they were happy and understanding. That further confirmed that I am, indeed, making the right decision (the letter of regret was just the final bit of confirmation I needed from God.).

So what does that mean for my future?

Well, in order to qualify for the accelerated BSN program, I still need to take microbiology (which the ASN program did not require), as well as lifespan development and some type of statistics course (I will probably take Statistical Sociology because my minor is in Soc and think it would be the most interesting). I will apply in the fall for January admission. I have to be accepted to the University first as a second-degree seeking undergrad, and once I get my acceptance letter (because I WILL be accepted), I can then meet with a BSN advisor and get everything squared away. Should all go as planned this time, I will be starting in January and will be finished around May 2012. Did I mention the accelerated BSN program is the same length as the ASN program? Better degree, same amount of time. Why didn't I realize that earlier?

Anyway, so this summer's schedule has now been reworked to include microbiology 3 hours a day, 2 days a week. I will take the other two courses in the fall. I will continue volunteering in the NICU (because, like most normal schools, that will be taken into consideration when applying to the BSN program! YAY! I've also been told there is an interview process. DOUBLE YAY! Normal criteria, woop woop!) and I will continue to babysit until January (although that schedule is all over the place now, thanks to class).

Even though it wasn't what I saw myself doing last year, I know now that it is the perfect decision for me. There is nothing wrong with an ASN. I just didn't feel the connection to the school and knew I probably wouldn't feel the connection to the program. It works for many, many people, it just isn't going to work for me. It also means I will be living at home longer than originally thought, but that doesn't really matter to me either. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and we have a path in life that doesn't always go the way we initially thought it would. This is just part of life. I accept that and I am happy. When all is said and done, I will be Marianne, RN, and that is what is most important. Registered & Protected


Lindsey said...

See, I knew you would work it all out. It sounds like you are very please with where your life is heading and I am so happy for you. Woo Hoo!!

Rosh said...

Well said! You have definitely got to do what works for you and it sounds like you have it figured out. No worries about still living at home - I am 28 and will be here until I finish whatever nursing program I get into. =) Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Katherine said...

Well thought out. Sorry you couldn't be the one to say "no, thanks." I remember when I applied for a PhD program in Texas...I had decided I couldn't do it, but it still stung a little when I got the letter saying they had decided that for me.

Jess said...

I'm so glad you've figured out the path that will work best for you!!!

Good luck!! I can't wait to read all about this journey!

Pam said...

This is definately the path I would have chosen in this situation. You won't ever regret getting your bsn, I promise.

Candace said...

congrats on having a decision made and a direction to go. most of the battle is won, knowing that much! good luck to you in your studies. i still hope to figure out what i want to do once the kids are in school. i have a masters in sociology, but what do you do with that if you don't want to teach?!?! i've thought about nursing... we shall see i guess.

denise said...

I'm with you...but I consider it cautious. Not pessimistic, not optimistic, cautious. That is a good thing.

I commend your decision, and think it is a good one. I work with certification boards and most always require a min. of a bachelor degree.

Pennie said...

Sometimes, doors need to close in order for the RIGHT ones to open. I've had that happen to me many times...never anything as impressive as that (I never finished college. Sigh.), but I'm cheering for you on this end, Marianne...darn proud of you, girl...go get 'em!

Anne said...

Congrats on an excellent decision! Your future is bright, my dear! And you are getting there one step at a time. Good for you!! (p.s. have I ever told you that I LOVE the word fickle? Anything that rhymes with pickle is a-ok with me!! hee hee!)

Helene said...

Well, what's most important is that you're at peace with your decision and it's all working out! It's gotta be a nice feeling to have everything in place now, with a solid plan.

And nothing wrong with living rent-free with the parents!!!! School is expensive!!! You gotta save where you can!

Helene said...

I just noticed you put the free copyright notice at the end of each post. Does that mean I can't steal your stuff anymore? Darn.

purplume said...

I'm happy for you. You sound like what you have going now is lining up perfectly for you.

I think the things we don't get are as important as the ones we do. When we don't get something, I think it leaves the way open for something that is a better fit for us to happen. And it look like you are making it so.
That's so great that the programs are the same length and this gives you so much more.
I too think everything happens for a reason.
Best luck.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. This is good.

When I wasnyounger I wanted to be a teacher. That is all I ever wanted. However, now that I am older, I like writing and marketing and advertising and graphic design.

I think it is hard for college kids to choose one thing so early on. Mao I think that it is good of you to go for what you want even If you change your mind.

Bridget and Andy said...

I'm sure it must be a huge relief to have a decision made and to know what you need to do to get there. I'm proud of you and know you'll make the best nurse ever!!

Melissa said...

It sounds like you have a plan. A really good plan. I have to admit that makes me jealous! I have no plan right now, and due to too many "balls up in the air" in my world, I can't really make any plans... and I love having a plan!

Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

Sometimes having a plan for "if" things don't work out make it much easier to accept it when it doesn't. Actually, I've found that sometimes I get so excited about Plan B that I'm a little pissed that Plan A works out.
(PS. Sorry I'm so late in catching up. They locked me in a room last week and made me write a website. ::sadface::)

Anonymous said...

I went through a lot of the same shifts in thoughts when I was trying to decide how I wanted to go to nursing school. There are a lot of options (which can be a good thing or a bad thing) for those that already have a Bachelor's degree. My local community college has an even more ridiculous admission practice- four prereqs that you have to get at least a "B" in, and then a LOTTERY for every one that applies.

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