I’m so glad you decided to drop by my site to learn a bit more about me and what I have to offer you! My name is Alexandra, “Andra” for short, and I am currently a critical registered nurse working multiple positions within the long term acute care hospital setting (LTACH), to include the ICU. Prior to this, I worked for over a year and a half in a 24 bed, level III medical ICU and a 15 bed, level II CVICU. I graduated in May of 2019 and have been sharing my insights with our Instagram & Facebook family ever since!
Let me share a bit about myself! My journey into the nursing profession began before I was even aware of it. Right after my high school graduation, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue professionally. I decided to take courses at our local community college in the meantime. Throughout this time, I had been dealing with excruciating migraines. I attended a multitude of doctor’s appointments and had exams/tests done yet no explanation was offered. Eventually, this inspired me to look into the nursing profession.
After obtaining my Associate’s degree, I enrolled at a university about an hour away and took prerequisite classes for their nursing program. When I applied, I made it through the application process and was selected for an interview. That interview was one of most difficult I had ever experienced; it contained a panel interview and an impromptu prioritization exercise where we had to defend our choices. In the end, it was worth it, because I was accepted!
As I was studying my way through that first semester of nursing school, the migraines got worse. One day, on my hour long drive home, I contemplated intentionally wrecking my car to end my life. The pain was THAT bad. I had reached a breaking point and needed to medically withdraw from the program. I began traveling across the state to see a neurologist at the University of Michigan but still no answers for another two years. My answers finally came after moving to Texas and changing neurologists.
In fall of 2016, I saw that new neurologist for the first time. Right away, he was able to determine that I had a brain tumor and elevated intracranial pressure. Thank goodness the tumor was benign (although in my opinion nothing in the skull that doesn’t belong there is benign), however it was also inoperable due to its location.
After multiple lumbar punctures to drain excess spinal fluid and failed responses to diuretic therapy, it was decided that I was to have gastric bypass surgery to lower the amount of CSF my body was producing. Within 3 months of my original diagnosis, I had already undergone surgery. After the first couple of months, my migraines nearly resolved. I decided it was time to apply to nursing school once again. Unfortunately, the local university had different prerequisite requirements which delayed my acceptance by a full year. Eventually, I was accepted into their program as well! I graduated with honors and my Bachelor’s in the Science of Nursing in early May of 2019 from the University of Texas at El Paso…a mere EIGHT years after my high school graduation.
Luckily, three months before I had graduated or even taken my NCLEX, I was offered and accepted, a position in the medical Intensive Care Unit at one of our local hospitals. This position allowed me to attend the organization’s New Grad Nurse Residency Program for the first year of my contract. I felt extremely blessed, and it finally seemed like all of my hard work paid off. Fast forward more than a year later and I’m now working as a nationally board certified Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) during/after a global pandemic. To make things even more interesting, I worked hard to earn my Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) right before transferring to the CVICU setting.
I started The Study Nurse to help other pre-nursing and current nursing students grasp the difficult concepts that nursing school demands. It started off simply being an Etsy shop with drug cards for students, but now it has evolved into a full-on, comprehensive source of support for students and nurses alike. I began to offer study guides, personalized resources, flashcards, ID badge cards, and more! On our social media, I focused more on providing advice, addressing typical (and atypical) nursing concerns, and promoting the mental health of our followers instead of simply advertising our items. Our following expanded rapidly after these changes, which led to a need for a better resource with everything we offer in one location. Hence, this website was born!
Now, things are going to start shifting to follow my dream of attending CRNA school. Not only will I be posting some articles about my journey along the way, I’ve also started to work on creating and establishing a YouTube Channel for you all to follow along with me through all the ups and downs. I hope you take advantage of what’s included on our site. I am always open to suggestions for a new resource that you need, so send me a message from our contact page!
Have fun exploring, and as always, happy studying!
The views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.