After a year and a half of taking all the prerequisite classes I needed, on May 13th I took the HESI (Nursing School Entrance Exam) and turned in my application to the FIU School of Nursing BSN program.
I got great scores in the HESI. I needed 80% in both the Math and English parts to pass, and I got 92% in Math and 97% in English. Though I am now taking the one class I still needed for my prerequisites, the application is in and all that is left to do is wait and see.
I cannot tell you–like, honestly, I can’t put it into words–how it feels to have reached this goal. I had a few moments when I thought I was gonna cry but I didn’t. Not yet. When I get accepted maybe.
I had to write an essay explaining why I wanted to become a nurse and why I would be a good candidate for the program. My essay is below. I think it says it all.
I did not set out to become a nurse. I went to university, got my degree in English and I was happy; even when it proved challenging to find work, I was sure I’d made the right choice in getting a degree in something I enjoyed. Then life happened.
In 2009 my mother was hospitalized for a total of 118 days due to what was eventually diagnosed to be a metastasis of the cancer she had beat back in 2007. From February to July 2009, I traveled back and forth to Puerto Rico to be by her side. I put my life on hold for months at a time so I could be of help in those difficult moments.
During the time in the hospital, it wasn’t the five-minute doctor visits that gave my mother and her family succor. The ones that truly made a difference were the nurses. They were the ones who learned all our names, what my mother liked, what the telltale signs of her symptoms were. They were the ones who came at all hours to calm my mother down when the pain was too much, the ones who were patient and understanding when my mother was being stubborn, the ones who held her hand when she was alone and frightened. Even when she went into hospice, it was a nurse that made her last days the most comfortable they could be.
I did not set out to become a nurse, but after witnessing the vital difference they made in my mother’s life, I was inspired by their example. I realized that I could not go back to doing anything else that did not have that kind of impact on people’s lives. Just as the dozens of nurses that had treated my mother had affected her life, I knew that I could do that as well—that I had to. So after eight years, I decided to go back to university to get a second degree, and become a nurse.
An English graduate is an uncommon applicant to the Nursing program, to say the least, but the skills I learned in getting my BA are skills that I can bring to this program as well. I am trained in research and argument, in writing and delivering clear, concise messages. I already know the rigors and challenges of upper-level classes, the dedication and discipline they demand. I have also seen firsthand the work done by nurses, been through personal tribulations that allow me to sympathize and empathize with those I would be helping. In short, I have life experiences to back up my academic training, and I now bring these to the goal of becoming a nurse.
It is my greatest desire to join the FIU Nursing program and I hope it is one you will fulfill. You will not regret it.
I’ll keep you updated.