My second to last semester of nursing school will officially conclude next Wednesday, December 17th at 3:00 p.m. (give or take a few hours). I’ll have 90 hours each of pediatric, psychiatric, and OB/GYN nursing under my belt. With three standardized Kaplan exams (those are the ones that simulate the NCLEX – the exam I have to pass before I can call myself a registered nurse) and a hefty term paper behind me, there are but three final exams and one poster presentation between me and nearly six weeks of time off from school.
Carrying 17 credits this semester has been trying, (see: The Slog) even with unwavering support from friends, family, and faculty. I have begun the job application process to work as an RN after graduation. I tutor students weekly here on campus who are currently taking the Adult Health course. And I throw the odd social activity into the mix. Much has been written about work-life balance and I’m not sure I have much to add to the conversation. I don’t think my “try to balance them” philosophy is particularly enlightening. But, I’m trying. I’m sure others have more on their plates.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to study at the Universities at Shady Grove. The facility itself is top notch, it’s convenient to my house, classes are small, professors are readily accessible, and the University of Maryland is a consistently high ranking nursing program. But in this moment, I’m very much looking forward to shelving my books, tucking my khaki and white scrubs into a drawer for safe keeping, and kick-starting winter break with a week in the Florida Keys and Miami. While it’s certainly not the all expenses paid vacation I requested two weeks ago – I assume you all are saving that gift for next summer, and that’s OK – it has been a source of light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ll see you all again in 2015 as I start my fourth and final semester of nursing school.
The view from last spring’s end-of-semester getaway…and no, I’m not pictured.