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Getting Through Nursing School with Sickle Cell

Choosing nursing as a major was an easy decision for me to make. I’ve always been interested in being a nurse, especially since I noticed that when I was sick, the nurse was the one that had the most input into my well-being and care. I went straight from high school into college at Oakwood, and it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.

For starters, I was 1600 miles away from my family and saw them only 4 times a year. The overprotective cocoon that I had been sheltered in disappeared and I actually learned more about myself and my strengths. My school counselor encouraged me to turn in the paperwork to the health clinic at our college about having sickle cell; and they in turn gave me a letter to give to all my teachers when I got sick.

Most of my teachers were really understanding and supportive, they knew what sickle cell was all about—hello, they were nurses! Luckily for me, I didn’t fall sick at all the first semester. However the second semester, I had to start school 2 weeks late because I was in the hospital for 10 days in January.

All I did was place a call to any of my teachers in the nursing department, and they would spread the word. My teachers sent homework and teaching plans and my classmates shuttled them back and forth. I was still behind when I came back to school and there was a test that same week. I had the option of not taking it, but I didn’t want to dread it for another week so I crammed my best with my friend Shay and took the test. Of course I failed with a 68% but at least it was out of my hair.

My school had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX and they wanted to keep it that way. So you had to get 75% minimum grade on every class or you would flunk out. It was hard passing Med Surg with that low of a grade on the first test of three, but somehow, through God’s grace and the help of my peers, I made it work.

When I was not sick, I amped up on getting all my assignments done to perfection and staying ahead of the curve. I was the top 3rd person highest scorer in my class, staying up late nights studying for hours and hours. Shay was a great influence (she was the top scorer), and she helped keep me focus and determined.

I won’t lie to you, nursing school was hard–hella hard. But I truly think I was meant to be a nurse, so there was no way I wasn’t going to make it through. This was one fight that sickle cell wasn’t going to win.

So to all my warriors in school determined to fulfill their dreams and destinies, hang in there. It’s tough but totally worth it.

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Sickle Cell Warrior

Sickle Cell Warrior

Tosin is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sickle cell. Although sickle cell is a subject often taboo in the communities this condition is most prevalent, Tosin's message is that sickle cell is not something to be ashamed of and you can live a rich and fulfilling life with sickle cell. Sickle cell warriors are the most amazing people in the world, with a great fortitude for compassion, willpower and strength.

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2 Comments

  1. DeShonda
    DeShonda August 04, 17:10

    Wow, thank you so much for taking out the time to share your story. You have truly inspired me and have given me more faith. I will be attending Western Michigan University in about 28 days. I am entering pre-pre Nursing and they also have a 100% passing rate. i am sooo nervous but I pray to God that I make it through. =)

  2. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author August 08, 02:29

    @DeShonda, I know that you can do it. Just stay on your grind, focus on your studies and talk to your professors so they know your limitations and give you the support you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!!! And even when sick, study study, study. Good luck! I know you will do well.

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