Goodbye Nursing School, Hello Nursing Career!
If you have come this far in my journey you have gotten to know a little bit about me, my classmates and our time in Grand Island. So, if you will, allow me to take you through the last part of our life as we wrap up the 2021 ANC program from the middle of Nebraska.
Hands down the term that every nursing student anxiously waits for. Who will our nurses be that guide us through learning how to manage patient loads, provider orders, work dynamics and the “tough ones” whatever that means for each of us? Well, in case you haven’t already fallen in love with the way that Creighton University and CHI Health takes care of their nursing students, I assure you that preceptorship brings out the absolute best in our clinical partnership.
Even though there are randomized assignments that you couldn’t possibly fathom some of us having or working in, the clinical preceptorship was a time of significant growth, connection creation and quite possibly the most fun learning that we could have had. A special shout out to the nurses and nurse leadership at CHI Health St. Francis for allowing my classmates and I to care for their patients and learn from their staff. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the team and to know I have some seriously radical nurses to keep up with (maybe even from the blanket warmer as I hide and try to sort
my life out LOL). Thank you for instilling high values and morals into our practice and leading by example. I am so blessed by each one of you!
What is Next For Harms?
Thankfully and by the Grace of God I have accepted a position at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. I will train in the Emergency Department as part of the Nurse Residency program, pending NCLEX licensure, starting in 2022! I could not be more thankful or grateful to start my career with one of the top hospitals in the nation.
Saying Hello to Goodbye: The Good Stuff
I knew when I started this journey that it was eventually going to have to end. After all everything from fairytales to horror stories do, right? Some days more than others I was ready for school to be over and to simply get started with life. However, as the end became closer the realization that soon my quaint class and I would no longer practice in the safety of our classroom, we would no longer be within a 5 mile radius of our best friends, the staff and environment would change and it would be time for us to leave our new home to go back to what we once left behind. Little did I know that we would be incredibly different people than who left those hometowns just 12 short months ago. We have gained knowledge, confidence, compassion and the insatiable need to heal and love others as well as speak up for what we know to be true.
We were now being called to step into the roles that our faulty, staff, preceptors and every person that supported us knew we so desperately sought after. We have arrived at the culmination of our B.S.N. curriculum and they are ready for us to take our skills, knowledge and Creighton degrees out into this world to make it a better place, to ensure that our patients know they have someone in their corner, always. Although, as per usual for my class, it doesn’t come without some reminiscing, some laughter and some stories we will tell for years to come. Are we somewhat scared? You bet. Are we excited? Beyond belief.
As this year wound down we found each other in every corner, in every season and in every possible situation (ok, maybe not every situation, but there sure were a lot of situations). My classmates and I gathered and shared stories of how our learning had transformed and how not so long ago placing a foley catheter and listening to heart sounds were the most terrifying parts of our day. Now we were figuring out how to take the NCLEX and what tactic to use to encourage our professors to come to our celebratory dinners with us. Those dinners may or may not have been hosted at different restaurants around Grand Island each night for a week strait. Our nights no longer consisted of learning physiological pathways, pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions and practicing skills, but instead became deep conversations about how to best impact our patient outcomes, when we planned on going to graduate school, how to advocate, how to follow evidenced based practice and even how to make our difficult patients smile at least once throughout our shift. Personally, I come armed with an array of “dad” jokes that are so cheesy you can’t help but laugh at them… or maybe laugh at me because I cannot contain my happiness with each one I tell. The year has come and gone. The degrees are conferred. The professors have donned their fancy robes and cords one more time. My classmates and I have moved the tassel on our decorated mortar board caps to the “graduated” side. Together we have said a million hello’s that have led us to the most bittersweet goodbye. We have promised the “see you soon” and “can’t wait to hear how work goes,” but we all know it will never be the same as spending 2021 at CHI Health St. Francis, on the 7th floor as Creighton ANC students.
The Final Thought
Take it in, soak it up and be present. It goes so fast. Learn to say “yes” to more. Train yourself to listen to the “feeling” whether it is the first answer choice on the test or when to speak up. Most of all, continue to care, love and find God in all things (even the “tough ones”). Congratulations to the 2021 Creighton ANC cohort… WE DID IT!
Thank you for allowing me the privilege to share some of my experience with you and for staying tuned to the adventures of Harms. I cannot wait to start my new journey, but I am eternally grateful for the experience that was afforded to me.
Signing off for the last time,
Creighton ABSN Class of 2021
SNA President, Grand Island Cohort
Harmony Latham is a Creighton University accelerated BSN/RN nursing student who is based at CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island, Nebraska.