“I know that my desire to learn will not stop once I actually start working as a nurse.”

This is a guest post by Indianapolis accelerated nursing student Ricky Lemming.

Ricky Lemming

Last March, my boss called me into his office and told me that our company was going to eliminate the assistant manager position, a position I had been in since I started working for them 12 years before. I could still have a job with the company. In fact, I could still do the same job I had always been doing, but my position would have a different title and a lot less pay. The new position and pay would happen in about three months. At 55 years old, this is not the news you want to hear.

I continued working at the same job, but I knew I had to get a different one. Something in another field. Something that I would like better. I didn’t know what that would be, though. So I spent some time doing job searches online, went to an unemployment office for advice and updated my resume. While looking at job postings, I tried to figure out if I had both the qualifications and a real interest in the work described. I never saw a posting that really made me feel enthusiastic, though. The job I wanted had to seem practical and necessary, and it had to be something that really mattered in life. I knew that in the time I had left in the working world, it was going to be harder and harder to get enthused about going to work unless I felt the work was worthwhile to others and instilled in me a sense of worth.

In late April, while continuing to look at job opportunities online, I came across advertisements from schools that specialize in training to get you certified as a medical technician. This piqued my interest, so I contacted one of the local ones and went there for an interview. I might have enrolled there if the class schedule had not conflicted with my work schedule. A week or two later, I saw an online ad for Marian University’s 16-month accelerated nursing program. The very next day, I attended a presentation about this program, and it sold me.  The selling point for me was two-fold: The demand for nurses could mean a secure job for me, but it also meant that someone simply needed the skills I hoped to have soon. It would be a lot more fulfilling to go to work every day knowing how much I was really needed, not only by the employer but also by the people I’d be taking care of.

A month later, I started taking online classes through Marian’s Adult Programs (MAP) for the prerequisites I needed to meet the requirements for admission into the nursing program. While continuing to work full time for the next six months, I was able to pass all the classes with good enough grades to get accepted. Now, here I am in nursing classes.

The potential for a much more satisfying job than what I had been used to is not the only reason I chose to pursue a nursing degree. It has given me the chance to learn many things I did not know about the human body and how it functions. Being immersed in learning so many practical new things all the time has simply made me feel better about myself and given me a newfound sense of worth that I had not experienced for a long time. I knew before I started classes that I would be motivated and energized by all the new material I would have to learn, and this has proved to be true. If I can make it through all the classes, pass the nursing exam and get licensed, I know that my desire to learn will not stop once I actually start working as a nurse.

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