Monday, June 23, 2008
Well it is about 2:45 in the morning and I can’t sleep. Which I really should be doing because I have my first day long portion of my orientation for the Nurse Practitioner program tomorrow at 9 am. So…if I would happen to fall asleep at 3 am then I would get 5 hours of sleep. I could survive on that. But somehow I don’t think that I’m going to be able to fall asleep in 15 minutes. Thus, I decided to get up and have a snack (some toast and hot chocolate–because my tummy was growling!), read, and write a quick post.
Yesterday, the 22nd, was in actuality the first day of my orientation for my continuing education program. There was a dinner held at the school. My day was kind of uneventful since I slept in until after noon (which MAY explain why I am unable to sleep now!), and then read the paper, called my parents (since it was my mom’s birthday–HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!), and got ready for the dinner.
It was so strange driving to UMass again after not having been up there for about a year. That campus was like a second home for 18 months while I completed my 2nd Bachelor’s Nursing degree. The dinner was held at the top of the campus center, in a conference room, with large windows on all sides–the view was magnificent. Massachusetts, with all its rolling hills, really is a beautiful state. I was incredibly nervous about going to this dinner. I’ve been shy pretty much my whole life, and I don’t think that is about to change now! Wasn’t I surprised when I noticed one of my co-workers walk in! She is beginning the Clinical Nurse Leader program (a master’s program) and I never knew! So I actually had someone to talk to and so wasn’t a complete wallflower. Together we met almost all of the people that were there.
I would say that there was about 40 people there–and this was from all the programs that are going to start this fall–the Family Nurse Practitioner doctoral program, the Public Health Nurse Practitioner doctoral program, the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner doctoral program, the Nursing PhD program, and the Clinical Nurse Leader master’s program. The students were for the most part older than I although there were a few who had just graduated from their Bachelor’s programs (so in their early 20s). Many of the women (there was only ONE man!–nursing is still pretty gender biased) had decided to return to school after their own children were done with college. In fact, many of these women were already nurse practitioners (I’m not sure if they need to obtain more schooling now that the requirements for nurse practitioner are doctoral level, or that they simply wanted to advance their education–that is something that I will have to find out).
Our cohort is from all over the country. There is someone from Jamaica, another woman from St. Croix of the Virgin Islands, a few from California, some from the Midwest, and a few locals (whew!). I actually met a nice woman who works at Baystate and has been a nurse for two years. She looks to be about my age or maybe a little younger. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get to know some people who live locally so that if I need a study buddy, it’s a possibility.
I felt a bit overwhelmed at the dinner. I guess one would feel that way when they are undertaking a huge commitment. I believe this is something that I want to do, yet it’s tough to really know. I never knew anything about nursing before I pursued that either. But at least in the role of nurse practitioner I’ll be able to have a direct continuing role in the lives of my patients, and focus on preventative health care. I hope that I’ll be able to get through this program. I know that there will be times when I will be frustrated (probably more times than I care to think of), but when the professors talked to us last evening they stressed for us to remember only one word, and that is PERSEVERENCE. I will have to make a conscious effort to remember this word when I am at my lowest!
On a more positive note, I saw a beautiful sunset last evening and it reminded me that there are wondrous events happening all the time, that most of the time we simply miss. I was glad that I was able to see that one.
Well, now I REALLY should get to bed. So it’s 3:00 am. I’m hoping it doesn’t take me more than a half hour to fall asleep (now that would mean I would get 4 1/2 hours of sleep…)