You can call me Shantae, Tae, or just #NurseBae.
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. I chose an accelerated face-to-face program (as opposed to online), that remains ranked among the top twenty nursing schools 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.