My Nursing Journey: Orientation is here!

my-nursing-journey-orientation-is-here

Every time I have gone to a new school or interviewed for a job, I knew whether or not it was the place for me because I could see my future self there in my mind. It was like I had a glimpse into the future, and I could see the energy of who I am walking down the hallways.

The first time I was accepted into nursing school seven years ago, I went to orientation and couldn’t see myself there. I just knew that wasn’t the place for me. Leading up to orientation for my current nursing school, I was worried that the same thing would happen. I worried that I’d done all this work and spent so much money for my prerequisite classes, my entrance exam, my immunizations…and it would all be for nothing.

I arrived at about 7am for orientation, and from the moment I turned into the parking garage, I knew this was the place for me. I felt relieved, grateful, and SO excited! Out of over 1000 people who applied for the program, 125 people made it. I walked into the auditorium and could see everyone else who had worked as hard as I had. I imagined that they had freaked out as much as I had planning and studying to get in.

The director of undergraduate nurses spoke first, and she was awesome! She was informative and hilarious, and I could tell that she had a lot of respect for the nursing profession. I heard from all 4 of my professors for next semester, and they all seemed great too.

I immediately felt that everyone wants us to do well. There are many levels of support available to help us succeed in this program, from peer study groups to mentors to professors who gave out their cell phone numbers in case we need them. I also feel like the program is organized in a way that prepares us for the final nursing exam (the NCLEX). I feel like this is the perfect program for me and that I will be prepared to start working as a nurse by the time I graduate.

After we met our professors, we were broken up into groups of 8. These are our clinical groups and the people we will be going to labs and hospitals with. The professor for my clinical group is perfect for me! She has such a spunky personality. She kept saying, “I know this is going to be a lot of work, but let’s remember to have fun too. Life is supposed to be fun! And if it ever feels like too much, just take a moment to breeeeeeathe.” She is awesome, and I’m so excited to be learning from her this semester.

The campus is gorgeous and state-of-the-art. They were getting ready for finals week, and there were de-stress study-break tables with coloring books and puzzles in the library. I also learned that they will have free massages for the students, cocoa and coffee, yoga…they really take care of their students.

We were able to tour the labs, and they have dummies that have a pulse, breath sounds, they can talk to you…I’m so excited to work with them. Back in the day, nursing students practiced things like IVs on each other. Now we have dummies with veins to practice with! The dummies also come apart so we can practice taking care of gaping wounds, inserting catheters, and other procedures.

dummy-1

This is one of the lab rooms which is set up like a hospital. One of our classes is Nursing Assessment, where we learn how to assess what is wrong with a patient. We will use a lab like this to practice doing assessments with our lab partner.

lab

The only shocking information that we received at orientation is that we already have homework! Before school begins, I have to study 6 chapters in pharmacology, 6 chapters and do all lab homework in nursing assessment, and 2 chapters for fundamentals of nursing. We haven’t received our pathophysiology homework yet. Can you believe it? Truth be told, I’m pretty excited about getting started. I wanted to look through my books before school started anyway…but knowing 14 chapters is a little different from a quick browse LOL. I read my first chapter in Pharmacology last night, and I really enjoyed it. I’m excited about learning more :)

Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Melanie

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