Imagine facing something you had to do in order to follow your dreams? Something that you didn’t succeed in the first time but you had the chance to do it again. Wondering if you could do the task better the second time. I had these thoughts last week as I was preparing for a challenging nursing exam. I failed (I got an F) and I had thoughts I didn’t belong. Once I knew I failed the course and I had to retake it I was excited.
Not only, was I looking forward to a chance to redeem myself but, also for a chance to absorb more knowledge that could only make me a better nurse. When the exam I failed came again I worked my butt off-literally. My butt was sore after sitting for so long trying to remember the fluid and electrolytes, oxygenation, patient education, Intravenous solutions, and blood transfusions. Granted the last three topics were easy and it seemed no matter what methods I used nothing worked. Although since I currently live with my parents I asked my mom to sit with me and help me. I know not everyone has that resource but having a loved one sit with me and support me really helped.
For the first time, I actually felt like I knew how to study in nursing school and I felt like I maybe did belong. And for those wondering, imposter syndrome is real, especially when your peers and professors are extremely smart. I study alone and even with some of my classmates. When the day came I was nervous and looking at the exam I was surprised. It was fair and I understood the questions they were asking. The choices seemed to blend together (doesn’t hyperkalemia and hypercalcemia sound so similar) but I went with my gut. I knew I worked hard but I still felt like I didn’t do so well.
In my mind, I was sad because if I failed this test again I was going to question whether I was meant to be a nurse. During my zoom class, I wanted to see if the grades were up. Like every student, I was terrified but when I saw the score I couldn’t help but smile. I got 36 points out of 50, a 72 percentile. I know that isn’t the best score but knowing I passed made me so relieved. My hard work did pay off and I knew that I was meant to be a nurse.
To those doubting yourself, please have confidence in yourself. Life can be so hard but that’s what life is. Life is going to have really amazing days and absolutely terrible days. You just have to take the ride and know that giving up easily isn’t an option. Although giving up sometimes is extremely important (but that’s a story for another day). I wish you all the best of luck