Preparation “Nursing School”

Nursing School

“Preparation is the foundation of confidence.”- Tami Matheny

I want to talk about Preparation, one of the four steps Tami teaches us in her book “The Confident Athlete”.

This is my favorite one because I think it is the most important one. I know this because countless times I have experienced what being prepared feels like, and the results it brings. I also know what it feels like not to be prepared and the results that bring. I want to share with you a personal story I have experienced that will explain the different outcomes if preparation is applied or neglected.

Over a year ago I realized I needed a career, something financially stable. I started looking back on things I enjoyed that could be profitable and Nursing came to my mind. It also helps that my mom is a nurse so I figured it must run in the blood. So, I decided that nursing was exactly what I was meant to do and after passing a few tests I was in. I liked it at first and I was doing really well. So well in fact that when the end of our semester came, we had to take a final exam. Our teacher sends us each an email explaining what we all needed to get on this exam in order to move on to the next semester. Lucky for me I only needed a 55% on this exam in order to move on. For the next month all of my classmates were studying so hard, everything from study groups to meetings with the professor. I, on the other hand, was living my best life. I spent the majority of my time at the beach, watching TV and thinking about how much it must suck to have to study the way they are. I knew a 55% was going to be a piece of cake and I had nothing to worry about. That is until the day of our exam comes.

I will never forget it. We all sit down at the computers to take our exams. I look around and everyone looks so calm and confident. I tried to match their confident energy they were radiating off but something deep down inside of me started to freak out. I think it got worse when my professor said “to all of you who prepared, you got this and all you can do is the best you can. To those of you who didn’t prepare, say a small prayer because that’s all you can do now.” And just like that, the Exam begins.

I submit my final question and hold my breath waiting for the computer to calculate my grade. The screen starts flashing a 56%. I just barely made it, but none the less I made it. I walk out of that room thanking God for the help and jump in my car to head home.

My phone rings an hour after my exam and its professor. She tells me that she made a mistake, that I needed a 66% to got on to the next semester, and unfortunately, I wouldn’t be moving on.  I hung up the phone and thought I was going to throw up. I knew I still had 2 more things left that were worth a grade, my clinical (which is where I perform the nursing skills I learned like catheterization, NG tube, head-to-toe assessment, etc.) and a 72-question math test which I SUCKED at math. I thought there was no point in even finishing those 2 things because I wasn’t going to pass and it didn’t matter anymore. But after a long talk with someone very close to me, we decided that the best thing to do was to prepare this time and give it my all. I needed to end on a good note and know that I did everything I could. I didn’t want that one test to define me. So, I prepared more than I ever have for my clinical and my math test. The day came and I got a 72/72 on my math test (the highest grade in our class) and I was told by my professor during my clinical that I would go on to be a phenomenal nurse and I scored the highest on my clinical. Although I didn’t think I would move on to the next semester I walked out of that school knowing what kind of student/ person I really was.

No sooner than I left I got a call on my phone from my professor again. She told me that she and the other teachers discussed it and they wanted to move me on to the next semester. She told me that the test was not a reflection of the kind of student I am and they were excited to move me on.

This story was a defining moment in my life, one I will never forget. I decided not to give up like I had in the past and to finish strong. Later on, I realized that nursing was not what I was meant to do, I was meant to be a writer and speaker. I was able to walk away from nursing school on my own terms, not on someone else’s terms. Had I failed out, I would have lost confidence in myself and probably tried to do nursing school again. That would have kept me away from chasing my dreams, dreams I thought were impossible but now realize how possible they are. Every day I wake up and I write, I read, I work on my craft. I prepare.


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R2LC is owner by Tami Matheny. She is a Mental Game Coach and Author. Her books include: “This is Good” at: “The Confident Athlete: 4 Easy Steps to Build and Maintain Confidence” and “The Confidence Journal”. All books can be purchased online at Amazon. For group discounts or signed copies contact

Tami owns and runs, Refuse2LoseCoaching which provides mental coaching for athletes and teams at all levels. For more information on mental training contact, follow us on twitter @tamimatheny and @r2lcoaching and visit our website:

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