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I’m a planner.  A list-maker.  A goal-setter.

There is nothing that upsets me more than writing down a plan, and then watching it unfold in a different way than I intended.  Fortunately, for my sanity, there is a quote that I repeat to myself every time I find myself in this situation (which is…a lot.)

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”  

It has always been of the upmost importance to me to know what my purpose is in life- what I’ve been put here to do.  I have struggled for years to figure it out.  As I discovered the nursing profession and learned more about it, I felt this unexplainable draw to become a nurse.  Some people would say it’s a “calling”.  I made the decision to pursue nursing during my junior year of college, when I was about 20-years-old.

I am now 23, and I feel like I’ve been crawling at a snail’s pace towards my ultimate goal for my career.  I have sat down probably over 10 times in the passed 3 years and made 12-month plans, 2-year plans, 5-year plans, 10-year plans…only to tear them up and start over a few months later.  I’ve encountered many setbacks that have tacked time onto my plans, and each time it happens, I feel more and more defeated.

I gave up a lot to pursue my goal.  For starters, I haven’t been able to work a “real” job for the last 5 months, and Corey has been working his butt off trying to support both of us.  Obviously, this makes me feel extremely guilty, and has added a lot of stress on both of us.  Thankfully, he is more than supportive of me going after what I want- I literally would not be able to do this if it weren’t for him.

Yesterday, I turned in my completed application packet to the nursing school that I have been planning to attend.  The program is a one-year, accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree- and it comes with a hefty price tag.  So hefty, in fact, that I would have to take out several large student loans to cover the costs- something that I am fortunate to have never had to do for my first degree (thank you, parents!).  As soon as I walked in the doors, I had a bad feeling.  Then, literally a few hours after turning it in, I discovered that the school doesn’t have the accreditation necessary for me to go on to get my Master’s at a different school.  This is a deal-breaker.

So, where does that leave me?

Well, for starters, I am really upset.  I have been overjoyed about the fact that I would be starting nursing school in just a few short months, and that I would finally be finished, working in the field that I want, in just a year.  Now, all of that is gone, and I feel like I’m back to square one.

However, I have learned a few things through all of this.  First, even though I feel like I’m too old to still be in school and not already have a career going, I’m not.  I’m only 23.  I repeat this to myself: You are not old, you weirdo.  It helps.  People change careers at 40 and 50-years-old!  Second, even though I have encountered more setbacks than I would have liked, I still want this- and so far, I have yet to see any signs that I am making the wrong decision.  In fact, with each month that passes and each class that I take, I am more and more sure that I am making the right decision for my life.

So, the new plan is this:  I will be, God-willing, re-joining the good ol’ workforce.  This means I have to start the dreaded and draining job search again, something I have not missed in the last few months.  I am hoping to find a job in a hospital, perhaps in administration.  I will work for the next 8 months, saving money for school.  Then, come January of 2012, I will *fingers crossed* start a nursing program that will result in an RN license by October of 2013, and a Bachelor’s degree by April 2013.

Is this ideal?  Not really.  I wish I could just snap my fingers and get what I want, but, life is a lot harder than that.  I am trusting that God has reasons for everything that has happened to this point, and that He is leading me in the right direction.

What I do know for sure is that, one way or another, I am going to be a nurse.


By the way, HAPPY NURSE APPRECIATION WEEK to all you nurses out there!  

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