Today was the day every nursing student dreads: the NCLEX. Or, as Joshua pronounces it, the IN-TELL-EX.
After you go through nursing school, and after you graduate, and after you are "cleared" with all of your grades and everything...THEN you can select a date to take the State Nursing Boards.
Holly already has her temporary license, and she already has a job. She has already started the 12 week orientation at the hospital where she works.
Today is the day she chose for her test...and she has been studying for it since the day she graduated from nursing school, TWO MONTHS AGO.
I have been so impressed with her dedication.
Holly really didn't have to study much in High School. She took lots of AP courses, and did very well. Then, she went to college for 4 years, and she had to study a LOT. In fact, she kind of had to learn how to study. It sounds kind of funny to say that, after being in school for 13 years, she needed to learn how to study. But she did.
After she graduated from college, and got into nursing school...a whole, 'nother kind of learning opened up to her. Because in her 13 years of school, and 4 years of college...she was taught to get the right answer.
In nursing school...finding the right answer? NOT SO MUCH.
According to Holly, "THERE IS NO RIGHT ANSWER" in nursing school.
It's "select the BEST answer," to a question or case study that might have 3 or 4 potentially "right" answers.
And it's "select all that apply." Which, those questions on an exam will about push everyone over the edge.
I told Holly..."Nursing school HAS to be hard. I mean, I don't want a dummy taking care of my family. DO YOU?"
I think this type of learning has not only challenged Holly, it's made her a better person...because she's had to really search out answers and THINK about what would be best in different situations...and she has applied this to all areas of her life.
She has been really "crunchy" the past week or so. That's the word one of her nursing school friends used instead of the word, "grouchy." She has been really on edge. I can't say that I blame her. Last night, she and Aaron went to dinner, and then they came over and visited a while. By the time they left, she was calm. She said, "I've given it all to God...the test, my anxiety, whatever the outcome...all of it is His and I will give Him the praise no matter what."
I have never been so proud of her.
She got to the testing center at 7:15. She could not take a purse or backpack. She could not take ear-buds or head-phones. She could not wear earrings or a watch. She could not bring mints or gum. The only thing she was allowed to have with her was her driver's license. Holly said they checked them in one-by-one...and they scanned the palms of their hands.
Right? So Jason Bourne-ish.
She called me as soon as it was over, and she was walking to her car. She sounded really relieved. She said, "MOM...I prayed more than 75 times this morning." I started laughing and said, "WHAT?" Because it totally didn't sound like something she would say. I thought she meant she was praying a lot at home before she left...and was she COUNTING her prayers?
She said, "before I read each question, I prayed and asked God for wisdom and guidance...even if I kind of glanced at the question and knew the answer." Her test cut off at 75 questions, so that's why she said she had prayed more than 75 times this morning.
Prayer is not like wishing...and God is not like Santa. Holly has studied her tail off and was as prepared for this test as possible. I feel certain that if Holly had rolled up in there without having studied and was not prepared, all the praying in the world would not give her a positive outcome. But we prayed for her, specifically...that she would be calm and relaxed; that she would take her time and not rush; that she would remember all that she had studied; that she would not panic if she didn't know something; that she would stay focused.
God does answer our prayers, but not always in the way we hope, and we need to pray for His will to be done in our lives.
Of course, we hope that she passed this test...and it sounds like she did very well...but she won't know for sure until she sees it in black and white.
This afternoon, she was on Facebook and showed me a post on her "time hop" from 3 years ago. I guess it was her first day of nursing school. I had posted a little pep talk on her Facebook wall, using a quote from the great theologian, Mushu (from the Mulan movie)...it was fitting that it was 3 years ago on this exact day that she started...and today, on this same date...she is (hopefully) done.
"Now remember, it's your first day of trainin', so listen to your teacher and no fightin'...play nice with the other kids, unless, of course, one of the other kids wanna fight, then you have to kick the other kid's butt."
Amen and amen.
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You." Isaiah 26:3