After my terrible let down involving the nursing school in the South and the email incident (read about it here), my family insisted I contact an advisor at the school and “fight” for my application to be re-considered. Initially, I refused; I had resigned myself to the situation and was too exhausted to put up a fight. Also, I have had so many bad experiences with advisors in the past, I really doubted that one could help me now.
But I finally gave in to parent pressure and made an advising appointment. I showed up gloomy, pouting, exhausted, hair a mess, no make up, in work out clothes; I was determined to show them I didn’t care about them or their stupid nursing program. And even more, I was determined to show that stupid advisor I already knew she can’t help because how can you help someone when you’re part of (what was in my mind) a broken system?
The advisor was in no better mood than me. We sat in her office and immediately I could see that she too was indifferent; I did not believe in her and she did not believe in me. I could almost hear her thoughts: “Just another student with bad grades and below average scores who wonders why they didn’t get in? PUH, Stupid kids. I’m wasting my time when I could be working on my thesis.”
I explained my entire situation involving the email and my frustration with the misunderstanding. She looked at me blankly:
“What are your grades in A&P and Micro?”
Still blank, “How many times did you take the classes?”
I gave her a confused look; I had never considered taking a class twice. “Um, just once.”
Her eyes shifted briefly, “What was your TEAS score?”
I handed her the score, “93%. I took it only once as well.”
Her brow furrowed and she paused, “What?” She reviewed my transcripts and scores and looked up with a hint of surprise, “You’re one of the most competitive students I’ve seen. And you didn’t get in?”
We went over my file, everything they had received in my application, and what I discovered is that the school did receive my transcript but it didn’t reflect all my courses. You see, I had asked my community college in December when I could send out my transcripts to nursing schools because I wanted to make sure Micro and A&P (which I had just taken that fall) showed up. They gave me a date, and on that date I ordered the transcripts to be sent to the schools. However, they gave me bad information; the transcripts I had sent to each school with my applications were not updated. That means UW might have declined my application because they thought I hadn’t taken those classes. But NYU accepted me so… something was off (I figured out what was off later on, read here).
So from the very beginning before even applying I was already doomed to fail, I thought.
I almost cried. The exasperation and sheer disappointment in my face must have been painfully apparent. She could see my hurt.
“I’m sorry,” she said softly, “I wish I could change the system but I can’t. This happened to me too when I went for my Master’s. I missed the deadline and had to wait a whole year before I could start. It’s so frustrating, I know. You are the perfect candidate for our program and unless Einstein applies for admission next spring, I can almost guarantee you will get in. So apply again, ok?”
I smiled weakly but said nothing. She continued to talk. She told me about her 30+ years in nursing, what she had done, what she was doing now. She told me there was a required class I could take in the fall to get ahead of the game before nursing school started in the spring. She gave me resources and books to read since I had more time than I had originally predicted. She gave me advice to “keep my head in the game” and not lose sight. “I love nursing because after you get the hang of it, it’s easy,” she said, “I would go to the beach each day, go into work at 3, work till 11, go for drinks, be home by midnight then do it all over again the next day. I loved it! And now, I’m getting a PhD; the pathways are endless.”
That did sound nice. I began to open up; I began to readjust myself. I listened to her stories about critical care nursing, nursing in the army, nursing at a doctorate level; I felt a tinge of excitement. I told her I wasn’t keen on the idea of being an “angel of healthcare,” that I enjoyed the proficient and “to the point,” skill-based side of the industry. She said that was great; the nursing industry requires all kinds of temperaments. That made me feel better.
Two hours later, she rode with me down the elevator. I turned to her, “Honestly, I’m just scared. I’m scared of nursing.” She smiled, “I understand but you don’t need to be. And maybe that’s why you’ve been given this extra time. To find some confidence.” She hugged me. I walked outside into the sun feeling reborn, almost baptized, ready to accept nursing into my heart again. And for the first time in my life, I was truly grateful for the help an advisor gave me because without that meeting, I just might have quit.