Today I wanted to do something a little different and follow up on my last post about this new adventure I’m starting called nursing school. Let me start by saying that I am very excited but also pretty surprised that I’m doing this. It still seems strange to me, so much so that sometimes I forget it is actually happening. I, Megan, who hated biology in high school and avoided any life science in college, am off to get my master’s in nursing. For people who know me, my college degree, and work experiences, this change in career trajectory probably seems like it came out of nowhere. But really, all of those things led me to the former job I had, working with the clients I had, who sparked an interest in this whole field of healthcare. So, if you feel like reading a novella about how this all came to be, keep on reading.
Taking it way back to undergrad, I loved college and my relatively stress-free major of advertising. Sure, come senior year I was itching to begin my career and make a paycheck, but overall I had a great time at the best university in the Southeast. (UGA, obviously.) Advertising appealed to my creative side but also had a heavy emphasis on strategic thinking, which offered a nice blend of thought processes for someone like me. It wasn’t just my major, though; I was involved in multiple leadership positions in related clubs and committees, so my commitment level was pretty high. I definitely thought I had found a great career path. Obviously, what someone decides for their life at age 20 isn’t always what works years later.
Post-graduation I dabbled in hospitality, marketing, and sales and moved across the country in both directions. Things were great for a while, but eventually I realized I was looking for more purpose in my every day. My clients at the time were mostly medical professionals, and having many candid conversations with them about their jobs gave me an insight into why they chose that path. Add that to a growing sense of discontent with the whole sales and marketing game and it became time to explore possibilities.
Because of my experience volunteering with local hippotherapy barns, speech therapy and occupational therapy were the first possibilities I seriously considered. Working alongside both of these disciplines exposed me to what they can do for people of all ages, and let’s be real- a job that has both horses and kids on a daily basis sounds like a dream. Ultimately I decided that these fields, although wonderful, lacked the variety in specialties, school flexibility, and (quite frankly) earning potential that I wanted from a second career, so the searching continued.
After shadowing a surgeon, physician assistant (PA), nurse anesthesist (CRNA), and nurse practitioner (NP), clarity came in the realization that medicine was the right direction. Surprisingly to me, I was intrigued by so much of it- the OR and surgeries, the physiology of the body, the way people can use their knowledge and skills to not only save lives but to improve the quality of lives. Knowing medical school wasn’t an option for me, it came down to a long and difficult decision making process between applying for PA school vs NP school. I could write maannyy paragraphs about exactly what went into this process- the months of researching programs, endless conversations with my mom and friends, taking eight science pre-requisite courses in a year- all while I began to define my priorities. Ultimately, I decided it’s the nurse life for me.
The moment I finally made the decision was a huge relief. This girl is a pro researcher, and it is an exhausting personality trait when it comes to big time decisions! Although the relief was sweet, it was temporary. Soon the stress of picking schools, applying, and waiting began and lasted until I got a very happy phone call with an acceptance offer than I was happy to take.
In the end, I’ll be starting at a master’s level nursing school in just a few short weeks and hopefully beginning nurse practitioner training not too long after completing this program. Getting everything ready for the transition is almost a job in itself, but I am very ready to get started! Wish me luck, and let me know if I can practice IV sticks on you.
P.S. Hopefully this whole post wasn’t a complete bore for y’all to read. My main goal in sharing this long and wordy part of my life is to encourage you to make things happen and to not waste too much time being unhappy. Although this whole process has not been easy or without sacrifice, I see the end goal as worth it. Life is both too long and too short to not go after what you want.
Plus, I know I love hearing about other people’s career paths and passions, so this one is for all my fellow curious (if slightly nosey) folks out there. I would love to hear about your story navigating post-college and career life if you feel like sharing.
P.P.S. I’ve been thinking of blogging a bit about the whole experience of becoming a RN, so let me know in the comments if it’s something you’d be interested in reading!