For a number of years now, my daughter, Corrie Petersen has been on a wild ride!! Nursing school can’t be described any other way. It is difficult for everyone who embarks on this journey, but Corrie faced a number of other obstacles along the way. Set aside classes and clinicals for just a minute. Like most people in school these past few years there was the Covid-19 angle, and all that it entailed, including being sick. Secondly, Corrie and her husband, Kevin Petersen faced three loses in his family…his stepdad, Dwaine Skelton; his aunt, Nancy Jackson; and his uncle, Rex Jackson. That was followed by two weddings, her son Christopher and wife Karen Petersen on July 23, 2022; followed by her son, Josh and his wife, Athena Petersen who actually married right after Corrie passed her NCLEX test, on June 24, 2023. Also, during that time, Corrie and Kevin became grandparents to Cambree, Caysen, and Justin Petersen, with two more babies, Axel and Cyler Petersen on the way. In addition, to that Justin spent about ten days in the hospital right before last Christmas, with the flu. Oh, and did I mention that Corrie worked full time as a CNA throughout all of this!! Now, let’s get back to that studying. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know where she found the time to fit it all in. I do know, however, that she was one exhausted girl, and all I could do for her was pray over her!!
Nevertheless, all of that journey (with the exception of the two babies on the way) is behind her now. On May 11, 2023, Corrie graduated Suma Cum Laude from nursing school (and as a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it was an amazing time. Her husband, Kevin; my husband, Bob Schulenberg; and I couldn’t have been more proud. Kevin got to go on stage to place her pin for the pinning ceremony, and then she walked across that stage to receive her Batchelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)!! Going back to work as a CNA, while waiting to take her NCLEX had to be one of the hardest things she had ever done. She scheduled the test for June 14, 2023, and then came the question, “Will I pass??” It doesn’t matter how well you did in school, the NCLEX is not guaranteed. It’s a hard test, designed to tell them if you are a new nurse with the ability to be trained in the practical side of nursing. If a degreed nurse tells you they aren’t nervous or even in a panic, they are either a genius or lying. That test is brutal…or at least the days leading up to it are. Nevertheless, on June 16th, Corrie passed her NCLEX on the first try, and on June 20, she started her new job at Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Hospital. Her outlook on life did a full “about face!!” Her life went from a lot of hard work, tears, fatigue, and full-blown exhaustion, to “Oh my gosh!! I’m a nurse, and I absolutely love my job and the people I work with!!” What a great day that was, and what a great career change this has been for her!! Happy doesn’t begin to describe how I feel for my daughter!!
Today, Corrie will work her 5th shift as a nurse. I’m sure that in the grand scheme of things, that these days when Corrie was just starting her new career, just embarking on her future…would seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the years ahead in which she will become a seasoned nurse and take care of countless numbers of patients, but I know that to Corrie, these days will always be among the sweetest of memories. These early nursing days will always be the ones that prove she could do it…that all her hard work, sleepless nights, exhausted days, and even time away from her family (as hard as that was) had paid off. Corrie’s career really began as a caregiver in 2005, helping to take care of her ailing grandparents, Allen and Collene Spencer, as well as Walt and Joann Schulenberg. Truly they had to be mentioned, because it was in their care that the seeds of nursing were sown in Corrie, and I know that they would be, and in reality, they are very proud of their granddaughter…as are we. Today is Corrie’s first birthday as a nurse!! Happy birthday Corrie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!