That you stayed awake all night tossing and turning in your bed because of a panel interview the next day. That your phone had run out of battery from checking your emails every five minutes whether you got the job or not. And once you landed not just one but two jobs, you were over the moon because you can now painstakingly start paying your student loan whether you like it or not. Yet, you almost regretted accepting the positions because you now had to stay afloat juggling orientations here and there while the urgency of taking the NCLEX was looming over your head. Yes, the notorious NCLEX which almost killed you because you knew from every single neuron in your brain that taking it right away was a suicide. You declined every single invitation from your friends because your brain cells would be relentlessly hammered with the thought of NCLEX while they blabbered about their day. You became the party pooper, albeit unintentionally. You lost your precious sleep every single night because of this damn NCLEX which unknowingly had taken over your sanity. You eventually got so sick and tired of everything that you decided to end the agony. That it no longer mattered if you were going to pass or not. You were just tired torturing yourself over this ridiculous exam. You crammed and crammed more until the day you finally showed up in the testing center with 3 hours of sleep. Your palms were sweaty, and those damn butterflies in your stomach weren’t stopping from making you sick to your stomach. They said finishing at 75 questions was a positive thing, but you were still unable to abandon the thought of possibly failing the exam. Yes, the additional stress for another 24 hours waiting for the email which could determine if you were able to continue showing up at work with confidence or not became unbearable. Fortunately, you finally got your result, and you passed! You should feel like a nurse now, but no! You showed up on your first day feeling like you haven’t done nursing for the past three years. You kept missing or blowing up veins that you felt like giving up IV insertion for good. You felt shitty poking your patients, and lay on your bed at night with a heavy heart. But again, it’s OK because you made it this far.
To say that nursing is hard is an understatement because it is definitely more than that. To say that the battle is over once you no longer have to deal with exams and integrations is a lie. To say that the stress has ended because you finished your last shift of preceptorship with flying colors is an exaggeration. The stress and anxiety keep rolling until you just learn to cope and live with them. This is the reality after you step out the door of nursing school. You learn to practice your resilience, accept your flaws and continue growing as a person without the safety net of your instructors. This is how you slowly become indispensable, super nurses as you pursue your journey in nursing on your own. It might not be a walk in the park, but it will definitely get better because you made it this far. You are standing beside your friends who are or will be going through the same thing as you. You might be new graduates now, but you have become nurses for a reason. People need you to continue the Magic and beauty of nursing. It is OK to be stressed; it will eventually get better because you all made it until the end. Gen’ 005, you will all thrive!