Professional Transitions is the first of many classes that I will experience during my journey of obtaining my Bachelors degree in Nursing at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. Personally I have many reasons for wanting to further my nursing education.
One of the main reasons for wanting to obtain my Bachelor’s degree is so I can prove to myself that I can do it. I have an irrational belief that I am not capable of successfully completing a Bachelor’s program. Being a student in special education during my primary schooling, I have low self-confidence related to my formal educational success. I believe these beliefs stem from the fear of failing and as a safety mechanism I have talked myself out of even trying, until now. I am ready to prove myself wrong.
When I have successfully completed my degree, you can bet I will do a “told you so” dance to myself! In being successful with my educational endeavor I hope to achieve my second major personal goal, imbedding in my children the worth of a higher education. I would like to be a role model for my children. By not only leading by example, I would also like to “practice what I preach” so to speak. As we all know actions often speak louder than our words, it’s not just enough that I tell my children the importance of higher education.
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I too have to be part of that high-quality, well-educated group that I want my children to respect and strive for. Professionally my goals for furthering my education are almost infinite. I can envision the endless job opportunities. Recently I have been browsing the “current openings” section for local hospitals only to be disappointed by their requirements. I have found that most hospitals, as they pursue Magnet status and other accreditations, are pressured to acquire a higher number of Bachelor prepared nurses.
Personally being a Registered Nurse on a Telemetry unit, for over five years, I believe that I have more to offer then an average “Associated Degree” prepared RN. In obtaining my Bachelors degree I hope to gain the professional success and recognition I believe I deserve, but am currently unable to receive without a Bachelors degree. Being able to climb up the clinical ladder is no longer enough for me. I’m looking for more opportunities for advancement, not just with progression up the clinical ladder but also to possibly secure a formal clinical night educator position.
Going back to school brings back a wide range of emotions for me. The two strongest emotions that I have had to face since returning to school are guilt and anxiety. Shane’s “returning-to-work syndrome encountered by registered nursed returning to earn higher nursing degrees” was amusing, yet very familiar to me (as cited in Hood, 2010, p. 11). When I first decided to enroll at Saint Joseph’s College I was full of positive energy and excited about my new endeavor. That “honeymoon” stage as described by Shane, was short lived in my case (as cited in Hood, 2010, p. 1). The second stage of returning-to-work syndrome, conflict, is the stage I am currently in. I have lots of previous experience with this stage from my first nursing school experience. While obtaining my Associated Degree I was also raising my then three year old son. Most of my memories from those two chaotic years are blurry, but the one thing that stands out to me is how I always felt I was missing out, neglecting my son and my family. Nursing school was filled with lectures, research papers, study groups, clinical and for me long commutes.
Now being a mother of two children, eleven and three, the primary income source, and sole insurance carrier I feel the stress is greater than ever. The feelings of stress and guilt also both play an important role in my professional life. I am anticipating having to cut back on my professional responsibilities such as; staff education, committees, special projects. I will feel guilty that I am letting my collogues and employer down by not being as flexible and available for them. In order to be a successful student I need to be more then just focused and committed.
I need to be willing and able to say no or ask for help without feeling guilty (Hood, 2010, p. 9). As referenced in the first chapter of Conceptual Base of Professional Nursing, Dunham and Malloy emphasize the importance of “scheduling time to attend to the needs of family and friends” which in turn will help “facilitate the maintenance of optimal mental and spiritual health” (Hood, 2010, p. 9). In a sense I need to be a well-organized individual who isn’t narrow mindedly focused on school alone.
Another strategy for coping with role conflicts during my educational journey is to consider using coping mechanisms that have worked for me in the past in similar situations. I found it helpful when I was in nursing school the first time to cook all the dinners for the week on Monday. Planning and preparing the meals ahead of time gives me more family time in the evenings and leaves me feeling less guilty and more content as a mother. Conclusion In conclusion, my journey to obtaining my RN-BSN will be full of personal, professional, and academic obstacles.
It’s how we deal with and respond to these obstacles that determine our success in life. Just wanting something isn’t always enough, I must be dedicated, hard working, and willing to ask for help when I need it. Although slightly nervous, I am excited and proud of myself for making the decision to pursue my Bachelors Degree in Nursing at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? References Hood, L. J. (2010). Conceptual bases of professional nursing. Philadelphia Pa: Lipincott Williams and Wilkins.