Called to Serve...

Updated: May 9, 2019

Professor Woodford

I received the small envelope, which was a tell-tale sign the letter inside was a rejection. I was informed that acceptance to the nursing program would be in a large envelope because of the additional paperwork included. I was still very hopeful when I opened the letter, however the first line told the story; "Thank you for your interest, unfortunately..." Nursing was my calling and I had worked hard to get into a nursing program yet, I did not get accepted into any of the three programs I applied to that year.

Even though I was sad and bummed out by the news, instead of being discouraged I became more determined to make the cut next time. I applied to seven nursing programs that next year, including four out of state programs.

The following year, I was excited to receive a large envelope from my first choice nursing program. The icing on the cake was I had been selected during the early acceptance process. Of course I accepted the spot and was surprised with three more early acceptance letters from other programs. When it was all said and done I had been accepted into all seven nursing programs. I still have my acceptance letter from my number one pick to this day.

This is a good place to mention, when you are called to an assignment; use your failures/rejections to fuel your determination to keep moving in the direction of your call.

Nursing school was definitely not a joke, I was enrolled in one of the top schools in Georgia and the bar to succeed was set very high. I noticed intimidation and plain meanness played a major role in how a lot of nurses and instructors interacted with the nursing students. There was this saying "Nurses eat their young."

I was totally appalled by this saying and all who followed it, including nursing instructors. Instead of staying upset, I decided to become a student advocate. I began planning study groups and joined committees to boost nursing student's morale and confidence.

Nursing school is where I decided to mentor any students interested in nursing. I also promised myself that I would never be classified as the kind of nurse who ate her young.

Once I completed nursing school and passed my NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination), to become a Registered Nurse, I made myself available to nursing students. I positioned myself in a role of mentor-ship at my alma mater. This was my way of becoming a part of the needed change in the nursing school experience.

As my nursing career evolved I have worn many hats however my focus for mentoring, educating, and advocating for young nurses was always a part of my role. My last position was as a clinical professor, I truly could not have picked a better way to retire from nursing. I had the privilege to work in this role for two years and I cherish each and every moment.

I think it's important here, to state, that even in your dream job situation, there will be challenges.

My first semester as a clinical instructor was a fresh new learning experience. I was so excited for the second semester which was twice as long in the clinical environment. However my second semester as a clinical instructor was a nightmare, my students challenged me from the start. I found it necessary to reinforce safe practice boundaries frequently. My feelings of excitement for my dream role were fading fast. I can honestly say that I was not feeling the love from that group of students.

However looking back, my second clinical instructor experience is what made me into an awesome clinical instructor. Because in that semester my love for giving back was tested to the point of no return. Yep, I thought about throwing in the towel because I really did not feel I was making a difference and I refused to get bitter.

I did not succumb to the feelings of letting go... I knew that I had made a positive difference and although my light was dimmed by that experience, it was not diminished. Each semester that followed my "Stretching Second Semester" came with new challenges however they only made me better and reaffirmed my commitment towards my students.

July 5th 2015 was the date of my last clinical as Professor Woodford, I was planning to return in the fall of 2015. I write this post with gratitude to all the faculty at Western University College of Graduate Nursing. Many thanks for the offer to return and the amazing support given to me during my time there. I attended my last nursing pinning ceremony in December 2015. The confidence I saw on the smiling faces of my amazing students, assured me that my "Call To Serve" had been fulfilled.

Currently my assignment is focused on Women's Ministry in various capacities and I am so excited to once again be "Called To Serve."

OneLove ~ (Diane)

"To give real service, you must

add something which cannot be

bought or measured with money,

and that is sincerity and integrity."

~Douglas Adams


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