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Getting Through Nursing School with Sickle Cell

Posted Aug 24 2008 10:53pm
Choosing nursing as a major was an easy decision for me to make. I've always been interested in being a nurse, especially since I noticed that when I was sick, the nurse was the one that had the most input into my well-being and care. I went straight from high school into college at Oakwood, and it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.



For starters, I was 1600 miles away from my family and saw them only 4 times a year. The overprotective cocoon that I had been sheltered in disappeared and I actually learned more about myself and my strengths. My school counselor encouraged me to turn in the paperwork to the health clinic at our college about having sickle cell; and they in turn gave me a letter to give to all my teachers when I got sick.



Most of my teachers were really understanding and supportive, they knew what sickle cell was all about---hello, they were nurses! Luckily for me, I didn't fall sick at all the first semester. However the second semester, I had to start school 2 weeks late because I was in the hospital for 10 days in January.



All I did was place a call to any of my teachers in the nursing department, and they would spread the word. My teachers sent homework and teaching plans and my classmates shuttled them back and forth. I was still behind when I came back to school and there was a test that same week. I had the option of not taking it, but I didn't want to dread it for another week so I crammed my best with my friend Shay and took the test. Of course I failed with a 68% but at least it was out of my hair.



My school had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX and they wanted to keep it that way. So you had to get 75% minimum grade on every class or you would flunk out. It was hard passing Med Surg with that low of a grade on the first test of three, but somehow, through God's grace and the help of my peers, I made it work.



When I was not sick, I amped up on getting all my assignments done to perfection and staying ahead of the curve. I was the top 3rd person highest scorer in my class, staying up late nights studying for hours and hours. Shay was a great influence (she was the top scorer), and she helped keep me focus and determined.



I won't lie to you, nursing school was hard--hella hard. But I truly think I was meant to be a nurse, so there was no way I wasn't going to make it through. This was one fight that sickle cell wasn't going to win.



So to all my warriors in school determined to fulfill their dreams and destinies, hang in there. It's tough but totally worth it.
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