The 10th Anniversary That Stings
Today, April 30, 2015 is my anniversary. The 10th anniversary, in fact. I should be celebrating. That’s a huge accomplishment. But instead, I feel the same thing I do whenever this particular anniversary hits each spring.
Imagine the Worst Possible Scenario
It was 10 years ago today that I received my nursing license. And if anyone has ever described the test one has to take to become a licensed nurse….yes, it’s that much worse. So grueling was this test that it scarred me for life.How bad was the NCLEX Nursing test? Basically, imagine the worst testing situation imaginable.
- Small little computer screen cubicle
- Given at least 75 questions. If you do really well, the screen turns off. If you do really poorly, the screen turns off.
- If the computer is unsure whether to pass you, you keep receiving questions until the test knows you passed or failed, then it turns off. Up to 365 questions
- But there’s always the guinea pig. A few folks will be given the WHOLE exam of 365 questions anyway, just to test out the test. Mean and cruel. Mean and cruel.
- You leave not knowing whether you passed or failed.
- Then you wait at least 3 days and pay a fee to get your score. Or wait 8 days for a piece of paper to be mailed to you.
After the test I wandered a mall and cried. I was that distraught not knowing if I passed. As you can imagine, with the results of this test came the vow that I would NEVER EVER give up my nursing license. Why? Because if ever the case I were to reactivate, I would need to take that dreaded test again.
Not So Bad
So every 2 years, I would have to renew my license. This wasn’t a problem when I was working in the hospital. 24 continuing education hours required every 2 years and a payment fee. I got those hours within weeks. Renewal was easy. And I had a purpose. There was a meaning to getting my nursing license renewed every 2 years. But after 6 years on a stressful and busy pediatric nursing floor, I hit my breaking point.
But Then I Quit
I won’t lead you down the dark spiral path that followed, but when I quit my nursing job, I had to figure out what to do next. Find my purpose in life again. And it was tough when 4 years of college and 6 years in the field defined who I was. Now, I have to complete those hours at home (when I can remember) outside of my current job. Pay a fee that felt like a heavy weight around my neck. And the reminder that I left. But I do it. I know that I’m never sure of what’s to come. I may one day want to go back to nursing. Or have to. I have a Plan B for my family’s security.
So Circle Back to Today
So that brings us back to today. The 10th anniversary of my nursing license. A license I don’t use outside of my daily boo-boo kisses. A reminder of what I gave up. That I quit. A painful reminder of the relationships that are now gone and an identity lost. The guilt of what I could have been, could have done for so many. So it’s a tough day in the life of me. But yes, of course I’m reminded of the beautiful family I have (and a daughter that probably wouldn’t have existed if I was still in nursing), and the amazing memories I now possess. It’s not to say that I still don’t feel that sting…10 years later.
And procrastination. Over 2 hours of hitting refresh to pay for my nursing license fees this morning. OUCH. Lesson learned to not wait until the last possible day to renew. But today I have another 2 years down and a backup plan for my family in place. So April 30, 2015. It stings. But it’s also a day where I dared to dream more for myself and my family.
My nursing career has been a huge part of my blogging career. Here’s a few more nurse related posts to check out: