My name is Lorena Alanis. Coming into college I believed the bumps on the road to success were settled and it would be smooth sailing. I am the first in my family to go to college and didn’t even think I deserved to be here. A degree seemed completely unattainable if my family did not agree with my choices. I listened to almost all of the options given to me so I believed that my support system would be unwavering but relying on this mentality enabled any failure to bring my growth to a halt. Success was supposed to be completely fair, if you put in quality work you should automatically receive a positive payout; this is not always the case.
American businessman Thomas J. Watson said, “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure.
You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” To succeed I have to learn how to manage small failures and any enemies to my success.
The next years of my life rely heavily on the choices I make and how I handle things that are out of my control. I am in the position for my life to go in a multitude of directions including my degree, home life, and career. But I am the sole person who can decide what path to pursue.
My family is very close knit and I received a lot of information and feedback as to what career to pursue.
Deciding what college to pick was really tough. I had to sit and actually reflect on things that I wanted out of college when the time came to start searching and eventually applying. My family is of high importance, and senior year caused me to realize that being even 2 hours away from home is not an option. Purdue University was extremely close to home and the best choice for me financially. PNW met all the different requirements that I had on my mind when it came to college. Aside from the campus suiting my tastes, it is less than 30 minutes away The student body is approximately 12,000 students. It has a large and highly respected College of Nursing program that offers study in all 3 of the degrees that I plan to pursue.
While my mother and father did not attend college she wanted me to pick a degree which would be the most beneficial while he only asked of me to pursue something I had interest in. I asked them some questions as to why they had the views on education that they did.
1.Why didn’t you attend college?If you had the opportunity where would you have gone and studied.
Mother -Having a child straight away stopped her from pursuing the opportunity. If it was an option she would have studied education at IUN.
Father-Dropped out of highschool to work, would have always prefered a trade
2.Did your parents push you to pursue an education
Both – no
3. If your parents had pushed you to pursue an education would you have looked for higher education
Mother- No, I liked the path my life followed
Father – Yes, I don’t know what it is like to have support or even want to go to school.
4.What do you consider being successful?
mother-Family and financial stability
Father- Living comfortably , not worrying about bills etc.
Interviewing my parents eventually led to a longer conversation about the importance or unimportance of an education and how financially driven success is to them.
Starting my first year at Purdue Northwest, I received direct admission into the nursing program. I also received acceptance into the Honors College at PNW, which is a great opportunity since I attend school on multiple scholarships. In my first semester, I will be on campus five days a week. My classes include:
BIOL21300: Human Anatomy & Physiology
BIOL21300: Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab
NUR18200: Conceptual and Theoretical Thinking in Nursing
CHM11900: General Chemistry
CHM11900: General Chemistry Lab
HONR11100: Honors Cohort I
PSY12000: Elementary Psychology
To keep up with my scholarships I need to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. The only one of my classes that seems particularly challenging is Biology. My other classes seem fine besides a few heavy workloads, which is something I can handle. During my first few weeks, I hope to socialize and let my name be known with others in my field of study so that study sessions will be easier. I have my schedule worked out besides transportation which I have to arrange due to the fact that I don’t have my license. I hope to be able to take myself to and from school by my second semester.
Lack of transportation has made attending after-school activities much more difficult. Because of this, I have not joined any committees so far. I’ve stopped working in order to focus on school and adjust to my new schedule.
Within my first few weeks, I had to withdraw from an introductory nursing class because I didn’t understand how to use the Blackboard app. This does concern me, since only two withdrawals are allowed in the nursing program. Since that slipup, I have tried my best to get on top of things. Thankfully, I have been able to sit with my honors mentor and be more on top of online work and have a better understanding of what is expected of me in college.
This will let me be as prepared as possible for my second semester.
After taking my first semester to adjust to college life, I have decided that I need to be more headstrong with the decisions I make. I will be finishing up the year as a nursing major, but will take the summer to decide if it is the right degree for me. Since I am finishing up the year as a nursing major, my schedule has been made for me. My schedule includes:
BIOL21400: Human Anatomy & Physiology II
BIOL21400: Human Anatomy & Physiology II Lab
BIOL22100: Introduction to Microbiology
BIOL22100: Introduction to Microbiology Lab
HONR11200: Honors Cohort II
NUR18100: Intro to Professional Nursing
NUR19600: Foundations of Psychosocial Nursing
During my second semester, I will hopefully be driving myself to school which will allow me to be able participate in after school activities. I hope to be able to become more involved in the honors community. I have been carefully considering some committees to see which one may suit my interests.
Honors College Academic and Cultural Committee
Honors College Community Involvement Committee
Honors College social events committee
Another thing I am really interested in is a position of leadership. I want to start as early as next year to apply, but may end up accomplishing it further down the line. I feel very much a part of the Honors college. I want to be able to continue to give off that feeling to my underclassmen and also prove my ability to lead to my professors and upperclassmen.
Once the second semester is over, I will be able to fully concentrate on deciding what degree is best for myself. While I appreciate my family’s input, I am going to have to prioritize my own opinion more. Over the summer, I hope to find full time work that will hopefully become part time once the school year starts again. I have found some part time jobs that are hiring. While they do not apply to my degree, they will allow me to save up and become less dependent on my family.
Ulta Beauty; Highland Grove : cashier
Target; Munster, Indiana: cashier or stocker
Sephora; Merrillville, Indiana: cashier
I hope to get my gpa up as high as possible so that I may qualify for more scholarships. I currently receive the Honors college scholarship, as I had previously stated, and a few others but covering what I currently pay out of pocket will be a big help. I have to make sure I reach the criteria and deadline for any scholarships in mind.
Cascade Healthcare Nurses Make A Difference Scholarship: requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
TravelNurseSource Future U.S. Nurse Scholarship: requires a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
The Kim and Harold Louie Family Foundation Scholarship Program: requires that applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher, and a minimum SAT score of 1200 (out of 1600) or 1800 (out of 2400), or a minimum ACT score of 25.
Steven Bufton Memorial Educational Fund Legacy Scholarship
After this upcoming summer, I will be starting my second year at Purdue. I hope that I will be set in my decision to pursue nursing.
During my third semester, my classes will begin to be much more difficult. I will be taking fourteen credit hours my first semester and seventeen during my second. During my second year I will have to devote more hours to studying. Looking at my plan of study my classes begin to seem less fundamental and more interesting.
Semester 3: 14 hours
HONR21100: Honors Cohort III
NUR18800: Foundations of Health Assessment and Health Promotion
SOC38200: Statistical Methods for the Behavioral Sciences:
NUR27400: Essentials of Pharmocokinetics
Semester 4: 17 hours
NUR29400: Essentials of Pharmocotherapeutics for Nursing
NUR39400: Health Promotion and Education
NUR39000: Nursing Research
NUR19201: Foundations of Nursing
FN30300: Essentials of Nutrition
Semester 5: 14 hours
NUR39100: Professional Ethics
NUR28600: Mental Health Nursing
NUR28700: Mental Health Nursing Practicum
NUR28201: Adult Nursing I
HONR39000: Honors Special Topics
Semester 6: 15 hours
NUR31700: Nursing Care of Women Through the Lifespan
NUR31800: Maternity Practicum
NUR39700: Nursing Care of the Aged, Disabled, and Chronically Ill
HONR40000: Honors Junior Seminar
NUR39201: Adult Nursing II
Semester 7: 16 hours
NUR48200: Nursing Leadership and Management
NUR45200: Quality and Safety in Professional Nursing
NUR36100: Pediatric Nursing
NUR37200: Pediatric Nursing Practicum
NUR48601: Community Health Nursing
Semester 8: 13 hours
NUR49301: Adult Nursing III
NUR48701: Transitions Into Professional Nursing Practice
NUR45100: Nursing Informatics
NUR49800: Capstone Course in Nursing
I will need to begin on setting aside money to move out of my family home and find a place of my own. I hope to live near campus. I have found the found the average rent prices in cities near campus for a one bedroom and two bedroom apartment. I have also had to factor in other necessities.
Hammond, IN rent
One bedroom $838
Two bedroom $986
Average of $104 per month for electricity.
cable / internet, $65 – $150
average cell phone bill $73
Water bill average $70
Gas bill average $83
These costs add up to upwards of $1,466 a month or $17,592 a year. Based on an inflation rate of 2.00 % the value of $1,466.00 is going to be roughly 1,503 a month.The part time jobs that were part of my earlier plan will not will not be sufficient.
I plan to transition into nursing by becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant after my second year of college. Ivy Tech Community College which is located close to my home offers a test and application for nursing students looking to become a licensed CNA after they take Foundations of Nursing, which is NUR19201 according to Purdue University Northwest’s plan of study for BSN. Being a CNA provides a good learning experience while on the job, looks good on a resume for hospitals that I am interested in, and may secure me a job for when I get out of college.The average hourly wage in Indiana for a Certified Nursing Assistant is $11.40, which is significantly more than any other part time job.
Working as a CNA helps me work towards my goal of becoming an RN. I plan to work twice a week during the semester, and maybe four to five days a week during breaks and summer in order to save up enough money to pay for tuition and fees that scholarships may not cover, gas, food, and other things.
One of the most important parts of graduating is having to take a standardized nursing exam called NCLEX. This test will pay off greatly. In the state of Indiana, Registered Nurses make $14.04 hour more than Certified Nursing Assistants, and approximately $6 hour more than Licensed Practicing Nurses. They are licensed to do more things than LPNs, therefore are allowed to do more patient care. My professors stress that it is extremely difficult to pass these boards. NCLEX – RN has a passing standard of 0.00 logits.
This is effective through March 31, 2019 but probably will not change. I will have to dedicate a lot of time and effort in and outside of school to studying for this exam.
I do not know what kind of nurse I would like to become yet. I currently have an interest in being a scrub nurse. Cardiac floor also sounds interesting, but so pediatrics. One of the best qualities about nursing is that hospitals are always looking for them. After I become a registered nurse, I plan to remain in the area and work at a local hospital like Saint Catherines which is a previous employers of my mother, and would give me a head start with the recommendations of my mother or father.
Other options for employment are hospitals that are partnered with PNW’s College of Nursing program for student clinical practice. As a CNA, I could also establish myself in the hospital of my choice as a hardworking nursing student and potentially guarantee myself a job when I pass the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure.
Working Towards a Master’s Degree
Two of the most interesting options for nursing to me are the Nurse Advocate and Nurse Anesthetist. Both of which require a Master’s Degree.
Nurse Advocate: This specialty in the profession speaks out to me because the main goal is to represent the interests of the patient and their family in the clinical setting. This has the same median salary as a normal nurse, but allows me to focus on what I enjoy most: patient care.
Nurse Anesthetist: This focus in nursing makes $154,300 a year on average, and requires 2 years of experience as a RN and an MSN in anesthesia before spending time in clinics or treatment centers.
PNW BSN to MSN program:
Purdue University Northwest offers a graduate program for Master of Science Degree in Nursing
Graduated from an accredited baccalaureate program in nursing.
A minimum undergraduate cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0, on a 4 point scale, or equivalent “B” average. Note: Applicants not meeting this criterion may be considered for conditional admission status.
Current U.S. RN (registered nurse) licensure.
Evidence of successful completion of an introductory statistics course within the last 5 years.
Evidence of successful completion of a physical assessment course or equivalent.
If I am looking to complete their Master’s, they also require the following supporting documents:
Official transcripts from the undergraduate institution you attended
3 or more letters of recommendation
Statement of Purpose
Current Resume or curriculum vitae
Copy of current U.S. RN license emailed to program academic advisor
Criminal Background Check
NUR50100: Foundations of Advanced Practice in Nursing
NUR51000: Research & Evidence Based Nursing
NUR57400: Pathophysiologic Concepts I
NUR57500: Pathophysiologic Concepts II
NUR50200: Pharmocotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing
NUR50300: Advanced Health Assessment
NUR51100: Health Promotion for Advanced Practice in Nursing
NUR52500: Nursing Informatics
NUR62200: Primary Care of the Aging Family
NUR62300: Primary Care of the Aging Family Practicum
NUR50500: Sociocultural Influences on Health
NUR61100: Primary Care of the Young Family
NUR61300: Primary Care of the Young Family
NUR53100: Theory and Ethics
NUR64700: FNP Practicum: Clinical Synthesis
150 Clinical Contact Hours
NUR65600: Health Care Organization, Policy, & Economics
There are four different types of nursing doctorate degrees to choose from and each one is specific to a certain path in the nursing field:
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Doctor of Nursing (ND)
Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS)
Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (PhD)
Because my interest in nursing is patient care, I would most be interested in becoming a Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP.
DNP Admission Requirements- In order to be considered for admission into the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, applicants must have:
Graduated from an accredited program with a master’s degree in nursing
Grades in all previous Master’s coursework of “B” or better.
Current U.S. RN (registered nurse) license in the state in which practice will occur.
Successful completion of an introductory statistics course within the last 5 years.
Personal interview (will be scheduled following submission of application and all related documents)
PNW Graduate School Account
Recommendation Letters (3, at least one from a clinical supervisor)
Statement of Purpose
Current resume or curriculum vitae
Copy of current U.S. RN license
NUR67800: Healthcare Economics and Finance
NUR63200: Health Policy Local to Global
NUR62500: History, Ethics, and Innovations
NUR62400: Evidence Based Practice
NUR67300: Health Policy Residency
NUR 67600: Knowledge Translation for Transforming Healthcare
NUR 64200: Systems Approaches in Healthcare Engineering
NUR 59900: Epidemiology
NUR 67700: DNP Cognate Residency: Knowledge Translation
PNW – 192 Residency Hours
NUR 52500: Nursing Informatics
NUR 68700: DNP Practice Inquiry: Evidence Based Practice I
[192 Residency Hours]
NUR 68900: DNP Practice Inquiry: Evidence Based Practice II
While I may not follow the next few years of my life exactly I hope that I will do what is best for me. While family and third parties are important I had to learn that at the end of the day all I will be left with is myself and that is the most important person to make happy. Success is not only being financially secure but being secure in the choices you have made .
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