Tomorrow I start my LNA training course run by the Red Cross. Uniform is all laid out, lunch is packed and my mind is racing with excitement.

This is a big step on the way to my ultimate goal.

Five years ago I never could have gotten out from under my fears to see what I even wanted to do…and now I have a plan all laid out in front of me.

I feel grateful and I feel strong.

Uniform shopping

I haven’t had to wear a uniform to work in about 14 years – since I worked in the kitchen at a nursing home part-time.  And even then, it was just when I was doing dietary and not serving in in the dining room.  It was just a maroon polo with the nursing home’s name embroidered on the chest.  Hardly much to think about.  So shopping for scrubs and nursing shoes for my LNA course seems both odd and exciting to me!

We’ve been instructed to wear the following for course:

Maroon scrub top (not so bad)
White scrub pants (so not designed for ladies with booties!)
White shoes

Tops have been easy – they’re fairly cheap, they seem to fit well and I was able to get them for under $15 each.  I’m planning to have 3 to start and bought really basic styles.

Pants – wow….white scrub pants…unflattering, sheer and horrible.  (Though I get a kick out of seeing myself in the mirror dressed in scrubs still – such a dork!).  I went to one of the outlets nearby and was able to get some Koi pants for great prices.  The fabric is soft and not entirely see-through and the styles are flattering and dare-I-say almost cute.  I bought two pairs (one cargo style and one notched waist sytle)  and am still looking to buy one more pair.  If I can do landry mid-week, that will keep me in clean scrubs for my classes each week.

Shoes – finally ordered my Dansko clogs today.  I found the Marcelle style on sale and got 2 day shipping for free so I can get them early enough to break them in before class starts.  This style is not being made by Dansko currently but it still availale through many retailers.  After reading countless reviews they seemed the best bet for me (and I love the cute(ish) Mary-Jane style).

Think It Through Thursday

I feel like the last year has been a whirlwind of decision making. These have not been the garden-variety “do you want fries with that”, “red or white” or the ever confusing “can I hit the snooze button just one more time?” These decisions have been big ones.

One after the other – really big decisions. Most have been exciting. Some have been worlds of fun. Others have been stressful and scary.

“Will you marry me?”
“Eloping or wedding?”
“Is nursing the right path for me?”
“How do I transition from office work to healthcare?”
“Is it time to put the dog on medication to control his seizures?”
“Is the health of my aging parents OK and what can I do to help?”
“When can I quit my job and go to school full time?”
“How will we pay for all of this?”
“Where should I apply to nursing school?”
“Which degree is right for me?”

Ultimately, at this point, many of the really big decisions have been made. Now it’s the details.

When will I be able to get into a program, which nursing program is right, do I have the right pre-reqs for all of my programs, when should I take the GREs again?

Looking through the list, the next thing to decide is where I want to apply. Right now, I’ve got a long list of schools so I need to create a comparison sheet to really narrow down the right program for me.

UMass Boston
Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
UMass Boston
Curry College

I’ve created a spreadsheet to fill in where I can compare each program (including pre-reqs, cost and degree received). I will also try to schedule time at each school to visit the campus, view the facilities and meet with a rep from the nursing program to talk through my questions and concerns.

I’m enjoying this time of immense change and excitement, but I need to step back sometimes and just think it all through. Thankfully my husband has been amazingly supportive and believes in me and encourages me. Sometimes, just being able to see myself the way he sees me helps me believe more in myself!

2012 is going to be A-Ma-Zing!