I woke up excited, nervous and surprisingly confident. I put on my scrubs, clipped my MCC badge to my shirt one last time. I rocked out to some Taylor Swift on my way, grabbed a pumpkin spice latte and reveled in the idea that this was the last time I would drive to MCC and sit in that classroom as a student.
My heart was racing, my mind was calm though. The previous night study session with some of my closest friends had told me I do know this stuff! I clicked begin and started answering. Question after question I kept clicking away. Analyzing, thinking things through. Reasoning why my answer was correct or eliminating others. I felt reasonably confident. There were a handful of tough ones that required some guessing but I thought for sure I had nailed something over the 76 I needed. Then the 150th question came. I answered carefully and clicked that submit button.
My heart threatened to beat out of my chest, I am pretty sure I was in a state of respiratory alkalosis from my hypervention, and I found my brain vaguely wondering what my ABG levels were. I always cover my eyes until the screen changes, I don't know why. The next screen shows me my score. The next screen would show me if I had succeeded. I opened my eyes and I'm fairly certain my heart stopped. Just stopped. It felt like ice had been poured over me. My mind raced through every thought possible: it was a mistake, I didn't study hard enough, the computer is wrong, the computer is right, this is just a really bad dream.
My world collapsed. The grade was too low. It was not the 76 I needed to pass. In that moment I did not pass nursing school. I began shaking and managed to contain myself just long enough to show the teacher my grade, grab my stuff and run. Run back to my car sobbing. I called my husband first. Poor thing. To tell him the news. At this point I had no idea what I was doing. My world was shattering and I didn't know how to pick up the pieces. I had just thrown away years and years of hard work, countless hours studying, about $10,000 in loans and then some, all the time devoted to this school by myself and my family, and lastly my job. I had just lost the job I not only loved but needed. That was a terrifying feeling. I had already used up my one readmission to the program so I couldn't just simply repeat the semester either. This was it: make it or break it.
I drove to my parent's house in some kind of blur. Truthfully I probably shouldn't have driven. I sobbed out the words "I didn't pass" to my mom. I stayed there for awhile, my mom comforting me and the kids blissfully playing around me. Completely unaware of the utter devastation in their mom's heart. I began the process of texting, calling and alerting the world to my failure. I've been known to be a little over dramatic, yes. In hindsight I would have waited to ensure it was the official result but being in the distraught state I was, thinking clearly was not happening. I decided to go back to the school and talk to my teacher, ask to go over my test, find out what the heck happened.
When I entered the room, most of the class was still there. My classmates embraced me and I found out there was not a single person in the class who got an 80 on that test and questions would be gone over with potential points being given back. I still didn't think I had any hope of course. I needed 5 questions to be given back to pass. The most I had ever gotten back on a test was 1 or 2. Our teacher assured us this was high priority and the heads of the department would be working on reviewing the test immediately. Until then I was hanging in this weird limbo. Everybody and their uncle was praying for those points back.
I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't want to just go home and sit there. I was in no emotional condition to take care of my kids. So two other classmates and I decided to go see a movie to keep our minds occupied while we waited. We went to see Big Hero 6 which turned out to be perfect. The big marshmallow looking character is actually a nurse robot. Couldn't have been better.
During the movie one classmate checked his phone to see if the grades had been updated. He nudged my other classmate who checked hers, then I proceeded to check mine. I'm fairly certain the one other guy and his daughter who were in the theater thought we were insane, or just really into the movie. Once we saw that all three of us had been given enough credit to pass cries of happiness, shrieks of excitement and multiple high fives and hugs were being exchanged. I ran out into the hall and called my mom and husband to let them know our prayers were answered. I texted every person I could think of to share the good news: I had passed nursing school!
Yesterday I went through the lowest of low feelings only to be pulled up to the highest of high feelings. I was emotionally exhausted, physically I felt like I had just run a marathon. I have worked so hard to achieve this goal. Even if I did only pass with a "B" instead of an "A" overall. I passed. They don't put "R.N. who just barely passed" on your license after all.
I have an amazing support system that has carried me through this program and if it weren't for them I would never have finished. I only get 75 words to thank those people in my pinning ceremony speech but I will be doing a separate blog post to thank all of those I wish I could have fit in those 75 words but couldn't.
So now I am free. There are no more tests to cram for, no more clinicals to attend. I don't have any homework to do. I never have to set foot in an MCC nursing class again. It's weird and I still don't feel like it's real at all. I am sure by the end of the month when I've had more time of just being me it will feel real.
Until the NCLEX I am going to enjoy my two day a week extern job, I might catch up on some tv shows, crochet a few things, return to crossfit and even clean my house! The best part though: I get to spend more time with my awesome kids and family!!!!!