Becoming a nurse

Here’s something you probably don’t know about me: after I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, I planned to re-enroll in another school to get my associate’s degree in nursing and become a RN.

Instead, I got pregnant with Animal and Mineral.


Mineral making taco meat.

Then, I planned to stay home until they were in preschool, then go to school for my ADN at that time, since I was a single mom who needed to support all of us.

Instead, I met My Chemical Romance and he supported us while I took on the more traditional role of homemaker — and had more babies.

Later I became a birth doula, which I loved, and after that I apprenticed with a midwife. However, finding a balance between my family and doing birth work was nearly impossible. I felt miserable after a while. Birth work is mostly on-call, middle-of-the-night stuff, and then there’s the come-down after a rough birth, or the high after a great one — there’s nearly always birth hangover. It’s really difficult to be an effective wife and mom, a birth worker and in school for birth work simultaneously.

Meanwhile, as a mom, I wiped butts, changed diapers, cleaned wounds — and I have always loved “gross stuff,” especially blood and fluids. I think our bodies are amazing, all the shit they produce (literally)!


Someone needed stitches recently, while I was on vacation.

Nursing has stayed in the back of my mind since 2001. I don’t want to say, oh, I just want to help sick people. Instead, I’ll put it like this: there are people who need help doing basic health care stuff, and I want to be someone who can provide health care.

Right now, the only room for nursing that I have in my life is to become a CNA, a certified nursing assistant. I will learn to do very basic health care tasks, things that a RN might not have time to do because she’s administering meds and checking labs and taking vitals. Getting an ADN will take about two years, full-time, which I can’t commit to at this time in my life. But I can commit to a CNA class at the local community college, in which I’ll learn specific tasks, and then take an exam at the end of the semester. When I pass, I’ll be able to get work as a CNA, either in a hospital or privately.

So that is my current plan. I start my CNA class in August.



3 Responses

  1. Awesome! You are an inspiration to this dream-waylaid Mom.

  2. Being a CNA is exactly the opposite of a midwife. It can be fulfilling but also heartbreaking at the same time. We definitely need many more CNA’s to help care for people, especially those at the end of their life. I tried at one point and worked for one year but it was too much for me to cope with. I hope you find this a wonderful calling for you. I have known many CNAs with the best being my best friend and I know that if this is the right thing for you it will be wonderful.

  3. Congrats and good luck!

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