On the 19th of August, I was in the college classroom for the first time since 2007. It was interesting to be back in that atmosphere. As I sat there, I started to see and hear some things that reminded me of my time in the military…and I mean Basic Training.
The first thing that I noticed is that we were all wearing uniforms,obviously. This reminded me of sitting in a hot cramped room, waiting for the next step in the process. Back in the “hurry up and wait” phase again. Our scrubs are blue and much more comfortable than the ACU. Nursing may be an honorable profession, depending on who you ask, but it doesn’t trump the feeling of dawning a tan beret every day.
As my cohort of 78 eager and anxious students sat there talking, another component of basic training was observed; everyone had different backgrounds. The program that we are in is an Accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, so all of us have already received a four year degree. There are individuals of different nationalities, careers, and ages; some of which are attorneys looking to make a career change. And much like the military we have courses that are lecture type, and our clinical hours are the field training exercises. it’s almost like the crawl,walk, run.
But who could forget the most important part of basic training? Yes, that’s right, the DS. This time my drill sergeant wasn’t wearing an intimidating hat, they were wearing a business casual attire. They told us horror stories of individuals failing out and struggling to work and study. How could it be that intimidating? Well this program is 48 months worth of school compounded into 16 months. Anxiety was running high, and my fellow students were scared, wondering if they got what it takes.
This semester, I am taking Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Professional Nursing Concepts, Human Growth and Development, Nutrition, Dosage Calculations, and Fundamentals of Nursing. It’s a lot to take on, but is definitely achievable.