My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 1

By Rachel Dunbar

Choosing to major in nursing at PUC was one of my best decisions I have ever made. I heard about the program through a friend’s older sister who went through it, and loved it. I knew I wanted to be at PUC so that was all I needed to hear. As with most people trying to get into any program I asked myself questions like, “Will I even get in?” “What will I do if I don’t get in?” I had all sorts of doubts, but I knew nursing was God’s calling for me; so I pursued it head on.

At the end of my freshman year, I decided to apply for fall quarter 2014; in the back of my mind I had a feeling my GPA wasn’t going to be competitive enough for fall admission, but I applied anyway. You’re probably thinking, “She’s going to get in because of the way she’s leading up to it,” But I actually didn’t get accepted into the program on my first try. I knew God had a plan for me, but the rejection was still hard to swallow. I talked with my nursing advisor and figured out I needed to raise my GPA if I wanted a better chance at acceptance for winter quarter. That summer I re-took General Psychology and raised my GPA for the September application deadline. I remember all the doubts flooding my mind once again. I would go round and round thinking, “They only accept 27 students each quarter; why would they pick me?” Looking back, God had a plan all along. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I got the acceptance email: I was at work at the fitness center when I saw the email; I remember seeing the “Congratulations” at the top of the unopened email and I knew I was in! The relief and excitement I felt was like nothing else. I immediately called my family to share the good news.

After the excitement wore off; I was instantly nervous and anxious about what the program would hold. I think the biggest thing that scares people is the fear of the unknown; and that’s exactly what I was feeling. The first week of nursing school was like no other; I remember feeling like I was completely submerged under water without a life preserver in sight. As time passed; I began to take control of my schedule and manage my time accordingly. One of the biggest things that helped me through nursing school was knowing my 26 classmates were going through the same things I was; and feeling the same things. If they were going to get through it; so was I.

What scared me the most about nursing school was the 75 percent test average; separate from the class score. I was never a good test taker in high school and seriously doubted if I would even make it past the first quarter. I remember studying for my first test and having no idea what to expect. All of our tests are on computers to prepare for the NCLEX (nursing licensure exam) style testing. Sitting in front of a computer screen waiting for the exam password so I could start put every nerve in my body on edge. The most nerve-racking time is after you’ve submitted the exam and are waiting for your score to pop up. I remember I got an 85 percent on my first nursing test and I realized, I can do this. The score helped me realize the program was not impossible.

I began to learn a lot about myself and my study habits. I realized I needed to study more. I would start studying 10 days in advance because I just couldn’t retain the information well. Some of my classmates would study the night before and get a good score. I was never like that. The best advice I can give anyone planning on being a nursing student is to learn how YOU need to study nursing style information the best and that will help you get through each quarter.

Interested in learning more about the nursing program at PUC? If you visit the Admissions website, you can find more information about the program, curriculum guidesheets, and a live chat where you can ask an enrollment counselor anything you need. You can also call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu for more help.

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