I graduated last Saturday, but I didn’t get to walk. In fact, I haven’t really walked in a graduation since high school, despite the fact that I’ve now earned two degrees (and a certificate) since then. First, I earned the certificate allowing me to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in the state of Iowa in 2011, then Associates Degree in Nursing allowing me to sit for the NCLEX exam allowing me to become licensed as a Registered Nurse in 2012. Both ceremonies took place a short 30 miles away, but I couldn’t be bothered to attend either. I didn’t consider my LPN graduation to be important, since it was just a stepping stone on the way to the greater goal of the ADN. The second seemed like too much trouble to attend, since it was right before my nursing program’s pinning ceremony, and I was 8 months pregnant and didn’t want to haul my body around enough to deem it important.
This last one, for my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), I was quite a bit more wistful about. I was finally earning a Bachelor’s! Only 12 years after originally planned! And I was going to get to wear special cords for it, after my induction into Sigma Theta Tau! Man, this one was special. Aaaaaaaaand, it was taking place five hours away. Ten hours roundtrip with a possibly-agitated almost-two year old? No thanks. So, we didn’t go. We DID, however, have a lovely dinner and bonfire with good friends, and I considered wearing my special cords all day just to make it special (but didn’t, in the end). But otherwise, I didn’t do anything major to mark this rite of passage, although I might still before the summer is over.
Where do I go from here, now that I’ve completed my Bachelor’s degree? Why, to grad school of course! After more than half a year and lots and lots of hand-wringing, I’ve been accepted into a really awesome Nurse Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program, which will eat up the next four years of my life, just as the last four have been eaten by all of the schooling I’ve been through to lead up to this point. (Indeed, I’ve been in school intermittently for a lot longer than the last four years, so you could say that this lead-up has been in process for over a decade. SIGH.) I will join the ranks of the small legions of student midwives all over the country, hoping to change the world in my small way, and I’m hoping to write about the process here.