You can call me Shantae, Tae, or just #NurseBae.
Before we get into this, remember, you can find all of my posts about nursing right here!
As you know by now, I am an RN (Registered Nurse) and I graduated with my MSN (Master of Science in Nursing). I have worked as a nurse for five and a half years now, but I didn’t always know I wanted to be a nurse. I actually wanted to be an Optometrist (an eye doctor), and in college I enrolled in a Pre-Optometry track with a declared major of Community Health/ Health Administration. Because I was Pre-Optometry, my course load was heavy and filled with bios, chems, anatomies, etc. Around the time of my junior year I started interning with an optometrist. I figured it would be a good idea to get a feel for the degree I was paying for (#MillennialInDebt, anybody?). While I loved the doctor and his staff (best coworkers EVER!), the work flow of an optometrist didn’t feel right for me. I wanted 1.) more variety in my day and 2.) more work-life balance.
After doing more research and receiving advice from the optometrists, I started volunteering at the local hospital. At this point I had two semesters to figure out wtf I was doing. While volunteering, I was placed on the labor and delivery unit and on my very first day I witnessed a child being born; I witnessed his first cry, his first bath, and the joy on his parents’ face. But most of all, I witnessed the nurses- they were smart, quick, right by their patients’ sides, and taking no shit!
Right there was where I fell in love with nursing. After three months of volunteering and acquiring a whole new understanding and respect for what nurses actually do, that was it for me. I dropped the optometry major, kept the chemistry minor and began a crazy internet search for nursing programs that would fit my unique situation- a college senior whose lost her damn mind!
To my surprise, there were many programs for non-nurses, who had now, decided they wanted to be nurses. My MSN specialty was Clinical Nurse Leader and I chose an accelerated face-to-face program (as opposed to online), that remains ranked #1 in the country. AKA it was hard AF. By the grace of God, support from my friends and family, my strict Type-A study habits, and both my grandmother’s and mother’s wallets, I repeated no classes, graduated on time with honors, and passed the NCLEX (Nursing Board Exam) on the first try. Now, proudly, I am: Shantae, MSN, RN.
Want to know more about my nursing journey and how I chose a school? Leave a comment here.