Posted by: Ingrid | December 7, 2009

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.  Or so they say.

Which is basically going to be my philosophy when it comes to going back to school for my nursing degree.  By default though, that’s not the route I would choose if I had any choice in the matter.  Just give it to me all at once and let me get it done!  But after meeting with an adviser at our local community college last month I was informed that I don’t have the 11 units of pre-requisites that I had in California, I have 24 units instead.  Oh the joy.

But as of today, the day I could finally register, I am signed up for an online nutrition class.  Not without a little hassle of course, as my file (although it contained my transcript for my BA and nearly 200 undergrad and graduate credits) didn’t specify that I could read.  Once we got that taken care of I was good.  I figure an online class in something I’m interested in will first, keep me from having to drive in the snow this winter and secondly, help me see if this is something I can do with a baby at home.  I guess you have to start somewhere.

This is hard in so many ways for me.  Hard because nursing was my original major 12 years ago and I talked myself out of it.  Hard because I feel absolutely unqualified for any job that I’d like to do, and that’s sort of scary.  Hard because I don’t know how well I’ll do at being a wife-mom-student all at the same time and even if I do it decently, it’s going to take a while.  Hard and discouraging because almost everything I’ve done academically to date has been so humanities-focused that I couldn’t be more educated but less qualified for nursing if I tried.

But here we go.  Bring on the elephant and get me a fork.



  1. You’re brave, my friend . . . starting a project like that. I hope you enjoy your elephant!

  2. I have a friend who didn’t have any nursing background. She moved to another country, married, turned 30, was the mother of a 2 year old and decided to go back to school for nursing-leading-to-midwifery. She’s 1/2 way through and while it’s a bit stressful at times, she’s juggling everything with grace and organization (though sometimes she needs a kick-in-the-bum reminder that she is doing an amazing job!) 🙂

    You’ll be great . . and you already have a great stress reliever in running!

  3. If ANYONE can do it…it’s Ingrid Rothell….champion marathon runner….ran like a crazy person while pregnant, now runs in 22 degree weather……trust me, girl…you can do this. 🙂

  4. I went to nursing school with plenty of mommies and some even single moms. It will be hard, but you can do it and do it well.

  5. […] Back in December I talked about going back to school for a nursing degree and how hard it was for me to wrap my mind around the thought of trying to balance family life with plugging through science pre-reqs and then commiting to a nursing program, provided I got accepted.  I mentioned that it brought to mind the picture of trying to eat an elephant (and can I commend google images for actually having a funny picture for the phrase “eating an elephant” and not just pictures of lions tearing apart hapless elephants in Africa?) because it seems like such a huge task. […]

  6. […] the whole, particularly when I stumbled back on the many many many many thoughts I’d had about the nursing school process over the past eight years it […]

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