Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm Back (Part 2)

Where else have I been? Attending graduations, taking two killer courses that I am thankful are over (and for my 2 well deserved A's), having a stress echo, and seeing old friends. I seem to have left a lot of people in my wake over the years, and just reconnected with people from three groups from my past. I spent a weekend at a lake house with four gals I graduated from nursing school with. I had not seen 3 of them in 20 years; it's been 30 since I saw the other one. Let me tell you, we did nothing but laugh for two solid days except for when we were asleep. We did a fair amount of drinking of course, and talked and talked and talked. About family, husbands, life, death of parents, kids and kids, antidepressants, menopause, sex--you name it, no subject was taboo. We even took a drunken canoe ride on the beautiful lake and annoyed the neighbors with our off-key singing. Ah, memories. Nothing better than renewing old friendships. What an amazing group of women.

Naturally we talked about nursing; 5 nurses together of COURSE we talked about nursing. Here I was thinking I am the only diploma nurse left on the planet, yet two of my closes friends in nursing school have also not completed their BSN either. One is 30 credits shy of her degree, the other has only taken 2 courses. I am just about 1/2 way through. The other two each have masters degrees; one is a director of nursing, the other is a nurse practitioner (she went back for that after she got tired of attending meetings as a Clinical Spec.). Of the remaining two, one is still a staff nurse in the ICU, and like me did her share of being a manager. The other works in Quality.

The others were floored but excited that I want to teach, and were full of encouragement. I never thought I was very smart in nursing school, but it turns out I just never studied. Imagine that! My classmates, I discovered, thought I was brilliant cause I didn't crack the books. Turns out the actual "being a nurse" part of nursing school was easy for me, and I took to it like a duck to water; guess I was something of a nurse savant.

Regardless of our education since graduation, we all agreed that we wouldn't have traded it for all the 4 year degrees in the world. We learned the art and science of nursing by taking care of patients 24 hours per week, and preparing for at least 2 hours before every clinical the night before by reviewing labs, nurses notes, meds, care plans and meeting our patients. For us diploma dinosaurs, critical thinking is something that was developed over the years, not crammed into a four year course.

Anyway, it was great that after 30-odd years a group of friends who "grew up" with each other fit right back together without skipping a beat. Naturally, we scheduled two more get-togethers sans spouses before we said goodbye.
Renewing old friendships: priceles.


Anonymous said...

hey EDN
I understand. Did diploma progam and judging by your grad photo, in a similar time period, I recall the very short skirts, not that I wore one mind you. After school, I did NICU, ICU, then ER where I was at home. WEnt back to school and got an RRT, BS, MS, other stuffs. Now, I work research. But I gotta tell you, I miss three 12's a week and one extra if I wanted it. Now it's three cities a week, one extra when I don't want it. I miss going to work when the rest of the world is going to bed or being off in the middle of t he week.
you bring back fond memories my friend

Circle R, a male EDNurseasauras

Mother Jones RN said...

I'm also thankful that I graduated from an old fashioned diploma program. I learned a lot in those three years. By the way, love the pictures.