Life after nursing school

The countdown to the end of nursing school is underway. My last exam is June 14th and pinning is June 16th.

I can’t believe we’re here! It’s hard to believe that 3 years ago I was plotting away with absolutely no idea that I was going to embark on a new career path in healthcare.

Graduation & Pinning

I’m not a fan of traditional pomp and circumstance, but I am so excited about the pinning ceremony. Part of my excitement is because nursing school has been HARD; It stretched me in every way I could imagine. This Associates Degree has been 2-3 times as difficult as my Bachelor’s degree (and I even took 21 units during one semester!).

In the past, nurses received a cap when they finished training. Now, we receive a pin. This is a tradition that goes back over 100 years. I see my pin as a symbol of the hard work it has taken to join the ranks of the millions of men and women who have gone before me. As part of the ceremony, our class recites a modernized version of the Nightingale Pledge, which represents our commitment to ethical practice and compassionate care. Then, we each receive a candle that is lit by a nursing instructor, which symbolizes the transfer of nursing knowledge.

Getting licensed

To become a Registered Nurse (RN), I have to take the national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN). The exam uses a computer algorithm to determine whether I have the minimum knowledge necessary to begin practice as a new nurse. This algorithm determines how many questions you have to answer, which can range between 75-265 questions. (I’m hoping for 75!)

To prepare, I’ll be taking a 3-day course to review everything I learned in the last 2 years.

I’m staying in Wenatchee!

It may come as a shock to those of you who know me as the city girl because I’m still about surprised myself. I’ve grown to love this valley and can see myself settling down here. The fact that I’m about to be an Aunt again makes staying here even more appealing (congrats to my little brother who is going to become a Dad this fall!). I’ll still be making regular trips to SoCal to enjoy the sunshine and visit my dear ones.

I’ve found a couple roommates and will be moving out of my sister’s basement this summer (shout out to her for housing me for the past 2.5 years!). I still hope/plan to buy an RV or tiny home and have a little house on wheels. But that dream has been bumped a little bit into the future.


This summer, I’ll continue to work as a nurse at a local clinic where I float between family practice, pediatrics, and urgent care. I’ll also spend two weeks as a nurse at a camp for special needs adults!

In September, I’ll start a 12-week paid internship at our local hospital. Then, at the end of the internship, I’ll be assigned to work in a specific unit. I’m excited to get started but am looking forward to some down time, first.

I’ve decided not to pursue midwifery, which was the original goal when I went back to school. I’ve discovered that my fascination with pregnancy was really just an overall fascination with the human body. There are so many interesting things to learn… I expect to be learning new things about the body and nursing well into my 90’s (and given my awesome genes, I may actually make it that far!).

Who knows where I’ll land but I’m excited to take the next few steps. I have lots of non-nursing things I dream of doing once school ends, one of which includes some new blogs since I’ve neglected this site so much!

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