HOW I BECAME AN ER NURSE AT 20

Hello all. Welcome to my blog. Today is May 5th which means it is my nurse birthday. I am officially one nursing year old. I decided to share how I started out so young. Hopefully these tips can help some who may want to expedite their education or save some money on higher education. Keep reading if you are interested!

This post is not sponsored. Any thoughts and opnions are soley mine and do not reflect the entirety of nursing.

1. Graduated high school early.

Yes, I graduated high school at sixteen. This was something I had premeditated during middle school simply because I wanted to be out of the public school system. I began taking high school credit courses during middle school to work towards completing my state requirements early. During high school, I also took Advanced Placement (AP) courses to obtain credit that would count towards college credit. At the time my high school did not offer dual-enrollment, so I made hte best with what I had.

In addition to making sure I performed well academically, I also made sure I was involved in my community by volunteering, being involved withi my school, running a club for my local hospital system and completed an internship program with my local hospital system. I also made sure to begin the scholarship application process during the summer before my senior year of high school.

2. Began college on my 17th birthday.

I ended up moving into my dorm room on my seventeenth birthday. I remember the day very vividly because I was miserable from having my wisdom teeth removed. I transitioned to college life very well after being a very busy high school student. I absolutely loved my prerequisite courses (specifically Spanish and the sciences). I made sure I performed to the best of my ability academically for those courses as well. I also made sure to become involved on campus by joining an honor society, continued to volunteer and completed another portion of an internship program with my hometown hospital system.

3. BEGAN NURSING SCHOOL AT 19.

By the time I began nursing school, I ended up working at the place I was volunteering part-time. I loved that little gig because I worked with children and it was my heart. I also landed a new volunteer position with my local Children’s Hospital’s Child Life department. I adored (and still adore) that volunteer position; I am hoping volunteers will be able to return soon…

I transitioned fairly well to nursing school and increased my level of involvement on campus by joining my nursing program’s Student Nurses Association chapter and served on the Executive Board during my final year of nursing school. Balancing this with the increased “busy work” taught me good skills. By this point I was a campus Student Leader, volunteered in my hometown, was in honor society and was working!

4. GRADUATED AT 20.

During my second semester of nursing school, I was accepted to and completed a nurse externship during the summer before my senior year of nursing school. This was amazing real-world experience and was another opportunity to network. As a result of this, I ended up leaving my old job with children for a flexible PRN position as a Monitor Tech/Unit Secretary/Patient Observer with my local hospital system’s float pool.

After completing this experience, I began to contemplate which nurse residencies I wanted to apply to with my hometown hospital system. I applied during my third semester of nursing school to the Emergency and Pediatric Nurse Residency programs with the hopes of landing a Pediatric ER position. Obviously, that did not turn out and I ended up accepting a position at our system’s Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and turning down a Pediatric Med/Surg position. This all happened at the beginning of my last semester of nursing school. Needless, to say I felt pretty defeated and did not feel any pride in what I had accomplished. I also had growing feelings of leaving the nursing profession because I realized I preferred “more science”. Then, the pandemic hit…

Nevertheless, I pushed ahead. Finished out my semester online and “graduated” class of 2020 with by Bachelor of Science in Nursing at twenty years of age debt-free! I took and passed the NCLEX-RN about a month afterward and began nurse residency in July.

5. TURNED 21 DURING EMERGENCY ROOM NURSE RESIDENCY.

I turned twenty one about a month and a half into nurse residency. Nurse residency was a tough time for me because of the lifestyle change from successful student to “average working person”. I still struggle with it, but am hoping things will get better. The new-grad funk is real!

This all leads up to today. I have officially been working by myself for about four months. Do I love my job? No, and every night I feel incapable, burnt out and unproductive, but I still have another nineteen months until my “commitment” is over. I will say one thing, it feels amazing to be so young and debt-free. Thanks for reading!

One thought on “HOW I BECAME AN ER NURSE AT 20

  1. Happy nurse birthday! It’s so wonderful how you never wasted any time. I wish I had your motivation and drive when I was younger, truly 🙂

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