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I thought I would share my journey to any future nurses, NPs, CNLs/CNSs, etc. out there who are currently on or about to embark on their own journey in health care.
I did not always know I wanted to be a nurse. In fact, I thought I knew I did NOT want to me a nurse. My mother is a nurse. She wanted to me go into healthcare so naturally I went running the opposite direction. I graduated high school and went to a community college. I was the first person in my family to navigate American college waters, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I got into a number of remarkable universities, but I wasn’t ready to leave. Part of me wanted to save money , part of me wanted to see me younger brother grow up, and part of me just was not ready. I regret this decision for awhile afterwards. I felt that I had settled. Looking back now I realize everything works out the way it is supposed to, and I truly believe that.
I received a Associate in Business Management and a real estate license. I transferred to a 4-year-college to go on to receive a BA in psychology. I started thinking I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but after careful research. I had no intent on going through medical school. Then, I thought I had wanted to go into pharmacy, but realized after taking the advanced chemistry course that this was not for me. I still remember when I knew I wanted to be a nurse practitioner. I was in the first half of my anatomy & physiology course. I mentioned to my colleague that I loved the material we were learning, and that maybe pharmacy wasn’t for me. She mentioned she was taking the class as a prerequisite for a ELMSN program. This was for students who had a non-nursing bachelor degree. If all the prerequisites were completed, I could be admitted to a program designed for those who need to be transitioned into the field of nursing (Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing).
I had honestly no knowledge of what a nurse practitioner did, but after further research this was exactly what I wanted to do. In 2015, I began to applying to ELMSN programs. I applied to some of the top schools in my state and in the nation. I even got an interview at one of the best nursing schools in the nation, but I was waitlisted. I was a little crushed and had start questioning myself, but I still kept applying. I knew that I was lucky to have been considered at such a school. I attended the interview among those who had attended Duke, Columbia, and other prestigious universities. I knew it meant I had a good chance at the programs I were applying to that were more local. I knew I wanted to stay close to home, but was briefly distracted by the glitz and glam of a top school. Temporarily forgetting the cost and the preference to stay close to my support system.
After an interview, I have now been admitted to a private university in southern California. I plan on starting in January, but am still waiting to hear back from two others that are closer to home. One does not do interviews so I should either have a yes or no from them hopefully in October. The other will either be letting me know I am invited for an interview by the end of September or will let me know I have not been admitted.
Between you and I, my hopes are for the private one about 30 minutes from where my parents stay. It is also a shorter program of the 3 as it finished in 3 years. However, I would not be able to go in to pursue a specialty like the others. However, I definitely would not mind going to southern California. Until then I have started a studying regime for myself to stay sharp on the material. I am so nervous to begin and when I get nervous it eases my worries to plan. I feel more prepared when I plan. Reps from all the programs have both said to relax and enjoy time with loved ones until the program starts, and they will have plenty of studying ready for me when it begins. I do plan on doing this, but I can’t help but study with my free time. I have started working more, but without learning I feel complacent. Maybe this is a sign I am meant for career in a field that must constantly learn and stay up-to-date.
If you have any questions about the process, ELMSN, or how I am preparing for using school, feel free to comment below!  I would especially love to hear any of you waiting to hear back as well!