One word can characterize the accelerated-BSN experience. Fast. The scope of information we need to learn to effectively and safely function as RN’s is vast. But even more overwhelming is social responsibility and trust which accompanies the title of “Nurse.” A little less than a year ago I was simply a young woman, working my way through life and this world. But now, I am looked on differently. Parents automatically trust me with their children; clients in the hospital open their hearts to me and trust me with their bodies. I am still the same young woman. But now – I am a nurse. (Well – almost.)
I under estimated the emotional impact of embarking on this journey of a career. I knew it would be intellectually and academically challenging. But almost more demanding than the sheer number of papers and tests and projects I have completed in the last 10 months, has been building the confidence to measure up to the new responsibility of this title. Prior to May 2011, I did not even know there was such an object as a nasogastric tube, let alone imagine I could insert it into the nose of a little 5-week old boy. Walking into that room, armed with all necessary supplies and a wavering confidence, I gave myself a pep-talk. “You can do this, do not back down now!” Knowing that any fear would only increase the apprehension and worry of the family, and also knowing that efficiency was my ally, increased my courage. Still, there was a little part of me that balked at the very idea of what I was about to do. I knew the steps, I knew the evidence, in that I was confident. With the guidance and support of my clinical professor, we inserted the tube and heard the satisfying puff of air, ensuring correct placement. I exited the room amazed. Last year, my world did not contain tubes that feed acutely ill babies, tubes that enable proper flow of urine, tubes that bring medicine. And now –I am the one being trusted to insert them.
In my classes we discuss the art and the science of the nursing profession. I have performed various procedures, learned the multiple ways the physiological functions of the body can go awry, and discovered the plurality of methods scientists have found to restore health. Out side of the classroom my colleagues and I have rejoiced in our excitement, cried our frustrations, and supported each other through times of discouragement, anger, hopelessness, and exhaustion. I have been blessed with wisdom and insight from each of my classmates, as we have been sharing this experience of nursing school. Collectively, we have experienced a more complete picture. With our class, the whole is definitely more than just the sum of its parts. Because they have shared their insights and experiences with me, I will be a better health care provider. I gain confidence because I know I am not alone. Yes – fast is the best word to describe the last year I have spent as an ABSN –because of how much I have learned and done and grown – which has been amplified both in richness and depth by my colleagues and friends. Fast. 10 months down, only 5 more to go. Wahoo. (And yikes!)