Bachelor of Science in Nursing: One Final Reflection

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: One Final Reflection

Oh how nursing school is a fan of reflections! All nursing students know this. A zillion reflections. Ok, that might be melodramatic. It does make me cringe though. Buuuuuuut we were asked for one final reflection on our experience and thoughts about this Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

And since they asked so nicely, with five fabulous questions, through any creative means, and it’s the last assignment of this degree – let’s do it! Pretty sure they didn’t mean blogging, but this website IS my creative outlet…

Oiseau Rock

How have you changed over the course of the nursing program?

Can I request a hint for this one? Or call a friend? Ha ha, option B please. I decided to call a friend because I can’t honestly say. And by friend I mean my mother because really, who else is going to be honest with this answer? She said; “you are more acutely aware of what the elderly, sick or mentally challenged, go through when being treated by the hospitalization system, and therefore more sympathetic as well as educated on the positives and negatives of how medical staff, patients and their families cope”.

PS: Inside I wish mom wrote all my essays and resumes. #thosewrittingskillsthough

What processes helped you to go from being a nursing student to the professional nurse you have become.

The better question is what processes helped transition from being a professional to adapting to nursing student life, because let me tell you how you eat a lot of crow going back to school as an adult. At least I did. #thestruggleisreal All of a sudden you’re not the expert, not the leader, and not considered an adult. It’s a little like the last 20 years of professional life ceased to exist. Gone is the camaraderie of military life and in comes ‘nursing culture’ that hits you like a freight train. It requires a wee bit of adjusting. Ok, a lot of adjusting because the culture and environment could not be more opposing. Pretty sure I muttered “shoulda stayed in the army” more than a few times.  The frustration was real, even if what I said wasn’t – releasing and going after a degree in health was a good decision. Well it wasn’t good for my health, finances, or pension…but still good overall.

Nursing-school-plus-work-plus-external-stressors was an environment that made it easy to not to be at your best and going through adrenal insufficiency (hypocorticolism) betrayed my sense of self often. It challenged my ability to respond professionally, to manage emotions, and to not blurt out garbage when asked that oh-so-effective question – are you ok? Blink blink tears. No, I’m s t r e s s e d and in survival mode. Please, let’s pretend those moment never happened k? k. It did though, several times, and it’s humbling (and annoying) to admit. Dear professors and instructors, sorry ’bout that. <insert eeeeek face emoji here>.

Back to that original question, what helped?

Changing nutritional and sleep habits helped (thanks to an amazing naturopathic doctor). Leaning in on friends and family helped – a lot. Adapting learning habits to be more effective with  time management helped. Videos and more learning videos. Looking inward instead of projecting outwards. Reevaluating values. Learning to live below my means and take advantage of resources that were available. Repetitive tasks at clinical. Ah-mazing clinical instructors. Hiking. All the hiking. Hiking was a sanity saviour. And if I’m honest, the nursing program forced growth in areas that I could previously get away with ignoring so there’s that.

52 Hike Challenge

Share some key moments that have helped to shape you as a nurse: an “aha”in class, an unforgettable patient, peers, teachers, nurses, other health professionals, or personal events.

I think the worst ‘aha’ moment was realizing that I was never going to back to the type of moments that I originally started this degree to pursue. Just gutting. There will be no field medicine, no improvising supplies, no mass casualties, no tactical factors to consider.  Which makes you think, what dream world were you living in Victoria?!? Sigh, the two people (aka the most incredible docs the military ever did see) I look up to the most in the world had those moments tenfold, and I wanted to know more/help more in those moments than I did. It’s a bit like chasing ghosts, I was running after a life that already happened instead of aiming for what’s to come.


Nursing in North America is not those moments. My student self sees it as policies, protocols, politics, and poop. Ok, there’s a little humour in there. It is more than that obviously. There is the ‘feel good’ factor is making someone’s bad day better, in listening, assessing, advocating, and administering interventions.  But it is more calm than chaos and chaos was always a comfortable place.

How did the development as a nurse contributed to your career goals? Briefly outline short-term and long-term goals.

Ummm what career goals? I already have a career. Heck, it’s my second and nursing will be the third.  The only thing I care about is being the happy/healthy nurse that makes the patients day better somehow. Makes a fellow nurse’s day better. I want to give back to the world and preferably while having a balanced life. I know it seems a little idealistic, but it is still attainable.

There are no further degree or management goals. The name of the game is f r e e d o m my friends. I wanted another professional trade that offered maximum flexibility and feel good potential.  A job that could evolve instead of restrict – and nursing potentially offers just that if you allow it.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This program has been a wild ride. Although I’m sure that there would be no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that I would have pursued this degree as a mature student if I would have known the costs (health, finances, family time). However, the benefits are now in clear sight  and I’m glad I did.

So the biggest perk of this whole adventure? The friendships., hands down. I’ve met some of the most incredible souls in this program, not to mention new hiking and travel buddies, and that is worth its weight in gold.

Victoria xo

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