Emma Hardeman, RN.
Whew, that really does look good. Who knew that two simple letters could completely change my life. And who knew it would be such a challenge to earn them!
The road to becoming an registered nurse was by no means a short, quick, and easy one. It wasn't like hopping on the 55 freeway to head straight to Newport. Instead, it was similar to heading up the curvy road to Big Bear, getting lost, hitting a few road blocks, trudging uphill against all the bad weather, and finally making it to the destination.
I should have always known I would be a nurse. In 2nd grade I choose Clara Barton for a class book ( shoe box ) project. In 3rd grade, I choose Florence Nightingale. In 4th grade I began reading Cherry Ames novels. Mystery + nursing = captured my heart. I used to line up all the dolls and animals in my room to make a hospital. I was fascinated. I was intrigued. I was born to be a nurse.
But when the time came for me to decide where I would attend college and what I would do with my life I let fear overcome me. I remember sitting in my dad's office at the high school talking about the future. He looked right at me and said," You are supposed to be a nurse. You will be incredible. Go for it, Emma." But of course, I didn't. I wanted to go to Concordia. I loved music and my sister who was my music teacher was my inspiration....I wanted to be like her in so many ways. I started taking the education and music classes only to realize I was not born with the gift He had blessed my sister with. While it was my passion and I truly love to sing, as a career it was not where He was calling me.
My dad used to leave cards on the steps at home of Army and Navy nurses or local nursing jobs. His sly way of reminding me that even though I didn't think so, my dad knew it was the right field for me. At CUI, they gave us this test that "showed" areas to work in that utilized our strengths. Can you guess my number one? Nursing. Can you guess what was close to the end of the list? Teaching. ( Surprisingly "Chef" was 2nd on the list. haha)
When I finally choose to face my fears and go after not only my heart but to where I could feel God was leading me I was hit with road block after road block. Classes I needed at junior colleges were full. Azusa told me to "hang around" for another year, taking random classes, to sit on a waiting list. I became an LVN simply to bypass the wait list for nursing programs. After that was complete and I was ready to begin my RN program, God had to once again remind me how badly I wanted this. I was told my classes I had already taken were expired and needed to be re-done. It was one thing after another.
Looking back, I can see so many times that I could have easily given up. But I didn't. ( Although, trust me, there were days I wanted to!) If it wasn't for my famiy and friends constantly encouraging and supporting me, I probably would have. If it wasn't for the fact that I know without a doubt in my mind this is where the Lord has called me, I would have. My sister told me along the way, " The things you want most in life are the hardest." Wow, was she ever right!
This program, this journey, was the hardest thing I have done. I gave up an awful lot to get to this point. Trav and I made huge sacrifices. I had to suck it up and say," No" to hanging with friends or playing hide and seek with my nephews. I had to shut out the world on most days so I could study, read, and take practice exams until my mind was numb.
But we made it. My boards are over with and I am officially a licensed registered nurse. I still get teary eyed when I hear it. It's really real.
This feeling of reaching a goal is indescribable. I've never worked so hard for something and I've never wanted something so bad. I cannot wait to begin my future job, wherever that may be, and care for each individual hat comes my way. I'm so very thankful for each person who encouraged me, prayed for me & Trav, and supported the two of us through this.
We are praising and rejoicing as this chapter of our lives closes and a new one is about to begin!