Right after my daughter’s first heart surgery, when she was just a month old, I decided the nursing field was right for me. I took a course and became a CNA. Shortly after her third (and surprise!) heart surgery, I decided I needed to be a Registered Nurse. My timing has always been impeccable. Three years after her final heart surgery, I graduated from nursing school.
That’s right – I’m a mom and a nurse.
Because I didn’t think I had enough going on in my life with being a new mom, and a mom to a child who has Tricuspid Atresia and Transposition of the Greater Arteries, I decided I’d take on nursing school as well! The more time I spent in hospitals, the more I started thinking, “Hey, I can do this” so I started working on my pre-requisites and applied for Nursing School.
I spent many days in Ava’s pack and play, with my books and notecards and binders, all while playing waitress with her. I’d stick myself in the pack and play, so she couldn’t get her hands on my notes, while I’d ask her to bring me some tea, or a tomato, or the like. My point is: You can do it.
You kind of CAN have it all. If you’ve decided you want to be a nurse, then we want you to join us! I know you’re busy. We know you have to go grocery shopping, do laundry, get to soccer practice on time, clean up puke, wipe snotty noses, and so much more! If you think about it, by being a mom, you’re practically doing a nurse’s work and not getting paid for it.
You can multi-task like no one else, and you’ve got time management down to a science! You’ve got hoards of patience from talking to toddlers (or teenagers!) all day. You take care of the most important human being, the one you made yourself, and I’m willing to bet you’ve got extra care to share.
I’m not going to lie. Nursing school is hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever intentionally put myself through. It takes a whole lot of determination, and a little bit of luck (may the grading curve be ever in your favor)! I’ve learned in the years since nursing school that you really do have to make yourself a priority (Which is so against your mom genes, I know)!! Making time to study has to be a priority, and this may mean rearranging some long set in stone plans, and missing some girl scout meetings. I promise the end goal is so worth it.
In my three short years of nursing, I’ve met nurses from every walk of life. Being a mom is not the exception, it’s the rule. And regardless of which comes first: the career, or the kid, I’ve met many, many nurses who are brilliant at both!
Thanks to Nurse Megan for writing in and sharing her story!