Sunday, June 9, 2013

The beginning

I start my first job as a registered nurse tomorrow morning.  I passed the nursing "board" exam that I took on Friday and I am now a full-fledged licensed registered nurse.

I thought I would feel different once I was a nurse.  I thought I would feel all knowing/all powerful with regard to medical knowledge.  I don't.  I know that I have a lot to learn, and that this just the beginning.  But, I did it.  I studied and tested and got up way too early in order to participate in clinical rotations.  I stood on concrete floors until my feet screamed for mercy.  I lived apart from my husband during college semesters, took out loans, watched a baby being born, started IV lines, and hung IV medications in order to treat clients.  Then there was that fascinating day working in the emergency department.

All I had to do was do it.  Step by step, exactly what my instructors and advisors told me to do.  It wasn't easy.  It was the most stressful thing I have ever done, but it was what I wanted and I was determined to complete the process no matter how much weight I gained, how badly my feet hurt, and how lonely I was without my husband.

I believe that we are capable of doing whatever it is that we want to do if we have enough determination and are willing to sacrifice to achieve our goals.  I did this crazy thing in my 50s.  I'm 57 and a new nurse.  So what?  I've always wanted to do it, and I did it.  I saw my name posted on the Alaska Board of Nursing website late on Friday, and it had "Licensed Registered Nurse" next to it.  I had just taken the board exam that afternoon and was sure I had failed.  I saw my name and I sobbed out loud - those deep lurching, keening sobs that I wailed when my mother died.  God that felt good.  Oh my God, I did it!

Alyx McNeal, RN


  1. Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment!

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