I graduated high school in January 1977, actually I think it was more like February because of all the snow! That winter, in January actually, one of my classmates gave birth to not one, not two but three little girls, Jennifer, Julie and Joanie. They were so tiny, their momma was tiny too. They came during our time off with all the snow. They are all grown up now with lives of their own. It is hard to believe I have been out of high school that long. It is also hard to believe I am 51 years old now. WOW! I guess, though, that with all I have been able to do, I would have to be this old!
In August 1977 I started nursing school at Glasgow School for Practical Nurses, which became Glasgow School for Health Occupations while we were there. It is now part of KCTCS and one of my LPN classmates is over the nursing department, in fact he is the President of the Kentucky Board of Nursing. He really has moved up since 1977! He has a doctorate degree now. He was always very helpful when we were in school.
I was a very shy person back then. All anyone had to do was look at me and I would turn red. It only took a look. I had a lot to overcome! I used to get in trouble for not being friendly enough. I was just so very painfully shy! People took it for being a snob. Oh, well, I will talk to anyone now.
I graduated from GSPN in 1978, started my first nursing job at a nursing home in Leitchfield. It was a good job, wasn't hard to do but I felt like I couldn't use many skills there. City-County Hospital had sent a letter to several in my class offering positions, so I pulled out that letter and went to apply. I got an interview that very day and was hired! I was so excited to be working in a big hospital. Some of you might not think it is a big hospital. Remember where I came from. I was a shy country girl. We rarely got to go to Bowling Green- and when we did it was usually because someone needed to see a "specialist" or was sick enough to be in the hospital. I started work with Faye White and Brother Britt, both are still there. Those were good days, we just didn't know it! Sometimes we take our lives for granted, we think "if only this" or "if only that" but life is what we make of it. Period.
In March 1980, we moved from City County Hospital to The Medical Center at Bowling Green. The move went very smooth. It was in the fall of that year I got to move to CCU to work. I was in the ADN program at WKU, working full time as a LPN, and school full time to receive my RN license. There wasn't a lot of free time that way! I got close to several people I worked with then. Kitty, Susan, DW, Donna (we were already close, we are cousins). We used to go out to eat after work back then. Then when the married girls had to get home, the rest of us would drive around. Back in those days, LPN's did a bit more than they do now. I was the only licensed nurse on my floor when we were at the old hospital. We did always have a house supervisor to assist with any problems. I used her a lot. But that independence helped me grow as a nurse.
The first year I was a nurse, I had to work Christmas eve, and the night before Christmas eve. Well, the morning of December 24 came, and about 5:30 in the morning, the house supervisor came up to me and said, "you'd better sit down". I said "what happened?" She proceeded to tell me the only nurse scheduled to work that day was my Unit Director and she was 9 months pregnant and her water just broke and she was coming in to labor and delivery. I said OK, that is great. She said "uh, no. I can't find anyone to relieve you. You have to stay!" The good part is you wont have to come back tonight! I said, I don't think I can stay all day. She said, we will try the evening nurse to see if she can come in early. She got there at 1 pm, 2 hrs early. I had a rough day. The house supervisor came and passed my 9am meds for me. Dr. Baird had a very sick patient with no ICU beds available. I had to keep him. Dr. Baird stayed most of the day. Had it not been for him and Mrs. Lovan (the house supervisor) I would not have survived. That too helped me grow! That day made me realize I wanted to go back to school to complete my RN degree. And I did just that, I enrolled in WKU that following January and took one class to "get my feet wet" and I loved it. I challenged out of nursing fundamentals. Got right in to the next semester first. I had to go full time and take summer classes to be able to graduate and we moved to the new building all at the same time. I started the actual nursing classes in August of 1980 and went 3 semesters to complete my degree. The other time was spent in the general ed classes, 2 English classes, 1 sociology, 2 psych classes, 1 nutrition, 1 elective, 1 chem class 1 microbiology class with lab, 1 anatomy class with lab, I think that was all. I paid for all of this myself. Looking back, my guidance counselor in high school said I should go to RN school first. I let him know we could not afford it that way. I paid my own way as I worked full time as a LPN.
If I wasn't fifty one years old now, I would get a BSN in nursing or even a MSN. But, I am too old for traditional classes, and computer based learning is too expensive and funding is not there. So, it doesn't matter that much.
You may notice I don't talk about boyfriends during this time. I didn't really have any. I did go out with a friend of a friend once, but I wasn't his type because I didn't drink. One, I wasn't old enough, and two, my conscious would not let me drink. I was raised not to do that. Friends would go to bars after work and want me to go. That still small voice would remind me that was no place for me to be. I listened most of the time. I did go with my cousin once. I was so very bored! I ordered a coke. They asked what I wanted in the coke. I said I just want a coke. Period. I felt so guilty for even being there. I left. Before I left about 10 different guys asked me to dance. Well, I was so shy and I didn't know how to dance. I just said, I don't think so, sorry. They didn't even look old enough to be there either!
I did meet a guy once, we went out for a couple of months, but he liked to drink beer (to the point of being very, very drunk) and go fishing. Neither was in my like list, so we didn't last long either. I did meet one guy I kind of liked, but he was from Michigan, just here visiting his parents. That didn't work either. I had decided dating was not in my future. I had prayed one night while I was driving around that if God wanted me to find someone, He would take care of it. About 2 years later, Richard Alvin Sanders came into my life and he stayed until March 6, 2010. Actually, he is still in my heart. He will always be there.
That is all for tonight. I love you all,
To be continued........♥