That is correct! I am officially done with nursing school! This week, I passed my nursing school exit exam, with a 99% probability of passing the NCLEX on the first attempt! This moment, has been 13.5 years in the making. Granted, that is the time from my first college course until now, I’ve also served my country, and took a break to raise seven beautiful children in that time. I only had one semester left of nursing school remaining when I went on hospital bed rest with the quintuplets. I learned that I would need to repeat all of the nursing curriculum classes since they do not transfer. By that time, the military had led us across the country. It was hard to want to go back but I knew I needed it for the kid’s future, my future, and our family. I had some family members, friends, and followers tell me I would not make it, I was selfish for going back to school, and that I would have a nervous breakdown. I always laughed at the selfish comment since it made no sense. I would think when I was awake at 0300 working on it all, “why yes, I am so selfish for giving up my sleep to go back to school when I had 6 kids under the age of three years old and an older child to keep up.” I can not tell you the amount of times I would tuck my kids into bed, work all night making other sick/injured kids feel better in the emergency department, sleep in my car for an hour, head to school for an exam, and head back home to take care of my own children again. I have been awake for 24-48 hour stents weekly for the past 2.5 years. Every moment has been so worth it, to know I helped secure a better future for our family and to be able to help others too.
Over my journey to become a nurse, I have learned so many things. Mostly, they were things I could not learn from a book that have helped me grow so much. I have learned forgiveness of those who doubted me. I have learned my own inner strength, found my worth, and bettered my mental health. This accelerated nursing program lasted 28 months continuously. Michael has been away for 21 of these months with the military, essentially leaving me as a single mother with 7 young children. I have experienced health scares, worked 24-40+ hours a week, moved twice, sold a house, bought a house, took vacations with the kids, maintained a clean house, kept up with yard work, went to a lot of doctor appointments for the kids, kept 7 kids in extracurricular activities, and all life brings with a large family. I have learned how to be a role model for my kids and others. During this time, I have been nominated for the Daisy in Training award, have maintained above a 3.61 GPA, have been the President of the Student Nursing Association on my campus, am a member of the Sigma Theta Tau honor society, have volunteered weekly to aid others, taught time management seminars, and more. I have loved including my kids with these different components so they can continue to become well rounded little people. Lastly, I have learned that all of the things I could use as excuses to not do things are usually the exact reasons I should work hard and do it.
We have never had hired help or oodles of volunteers. However, I do need to thank a few people for making this all happen. I could not have done this without my Mother who moved close to us when the kids were 2.5 years old to help make this a reality. She has been a super Grandma and my best friend throughout this time. My husband has always been there whenever I have needed a pep talk. Even from a far, he sure knows how to cheer me up! My Dad, Brenda, Rick, Kathy, Jen, and all of our friends and family members who have always supported Michael and I on reaching for our dreams. Knowing we have y’all in our corners has always been wonderful. We look forward to seeing everybody in February! I am grateful for the strength God gave me throughout my self growth and this program. My kids have been rock stars during this whole adventure! I am thankful for all of our supportive followers for being an awesome cheer team. I am grateful for my classmates for putting up with me looking like a hot mess after sleeping in the car and work. Not many people understand what nurses go through in nursing school..but you all get me and are my people. You are the best and I know will all reach your dreams. The tears, sweat, and hard work was so worth it!
I am so excited to be taking my NCLEX (board examination) in January, walking in my graduation in February, and starting my new career as a registered nurse! I was offered three critical care positions at different hospitals. I am so happy to announce, I will be working my dream career as a pediatric emergency department nurse at an amazing trauma center. I love my job and helping families during the most difficult times of their lives. Plus, I have some of the best coworkers already. Y’all are stuck with me :).
Look for a lot more blog posts and Hoffman updates since I have time to breathe again.
Roxanna Hoffman, BSN