Be inspired with the story of the “Miracle Daughter” from University of Santo Tomas (UST). Faith Calzado Rutagines ranked first in the November 2016 Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE).
Here is her inspirational story.
There was once a couple who has been wishing and praying for a child but it seems that heaven hasn’t answered their prayer. The woman was diagnosed of having polycystic ovaries and the doctor said that with her condition there’s only a little possibility of getting pregnant.
Despite this little possibility, the couple still increased their hope and belief in God until they have seen the greater reality for the wife was able to bear a child and that baby out of love and faith is now a registered nurse who had written this story.
I’ve shared this story countless times to my friends and classmates but then I guess it is worth sharing again this time for through this story it was revealed to me that truly with faith in God miracles can happen.
Moreover, this story became my inspiration in my journey from being a student nurse to becoming a registered nurse.
When I graduated from the University of Santo Tomas last June 2016, I was blessed to receive a Latin honor and because of this I felt the joy and pressure for I knew that a lot of people would expect me to make it on the list of the board topnotchers. But of course I didn’t let this “pressure” discourage me instead I made use of this as my motivation to achieve that “RN” next to my last name.
|My Papa Florence, younger brother EJ & Mama Aila|
After our graduation, we just had a 2-week vacation then we started the 1st Phase of our review program in UST. Before our review has started, I organized my nursing notes and handouts and recovered my books from where they’re hidden because I planned to read all of them.
I promised myself that after our review class each day I would simultaneously do my own review at home. But weeks after, I felt too tired of our classes from Mondays to Sundays and drained because of the loads of information we study. But we couldn’t blame our professors that they needed to compress in just a few months of review program all the lessons we had for four years in nursing school. Nevertheless, we knew that we have been prepared for the licensure examination and ultimately for our professional life as nurses since our first day in UST College of Nursing.
Preparing for the licensure exam requires not just months of reviewing and recalling those forgotten information but years of learning experience from the four walls of our colleges or universities and to the boundaries of the communities we immersed in.
The first phase of our review in UST ended in August 06, 2016, then I had a break for a week, prepared a schedule of the subjects that I would study for each day and started my self-review. I originally planned to review first the Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (TFN) since I got my lowest pre-board scores in this subject. But as I browsed my files in TFN, I was overwhelmed of the pile of my reviewers in this subject so I just decided to start with my favorite subject Pediatric Nursing.
|With my UST blockmates, our Regent Rev. Fr. Julius Paul C. Factora, Dean Susan N. Maravilla, Asst. Dean Ma. Socorro S. Guan Hing & our Professor Ma’am Rowena Escolar Chua after the celebration of our send-off mass|
Doing a self-review at home was a challenge because there are a lot of distractions such as the temptation of watching television, checking facebook and sleeping all day. Discipline and focus are crucial to be able to win over these distractions.
I admit once in a while I lack these two and this led me to accept the scholarship offered by RA Gapuz Review Center (RAGRC). Initially, I didn’t have plans to enrol in a review center because I wanted to review on my own pace and style and also I feared that I might get confused with what is being taught in our school and in the review center. But since I had a hard time managing my own time, I grabbed the opportunity given by RAGRC and started with their review by September 8. In the first week of our review in RAGRC, we had our drills and exams everyday which I found to be beneficial thus I decided to complete their review program.
When the Phase 2 of our review program in UST resumed in October 10, my preparation for the board exam became more challenging not only in terms of the comprehensive and pre-board examinations that we dealt with everyday but also physically gruelling. There were instances wherein after our exams in UST, I needed to travel from España to UN Avenue to attend our final coaching in RAGRC.
|With friends and Dr. Josie Q. Udan, one of our best review professors in UST|
There were even times when our final coaching sessions ended at 8 P.M. that was why I usually came home late at night. This made me realize that when you want to achieve something, you really need to work hard for it. No matter how difficult or how tiring it is, you need to take each step everyday towards your dream.
On the 1st day of the board exam, we were already at the testing site by 6:30 am though the exam started at 8 am. While waiting for the examination to begin, I asked God to grant us His wisdom and to keep us calm because the atmosphere of facing the licensure exam was certainly nerve-racking. Due to my nervousness, I couldn’t properly shade my answer sheets. Also, instead of using my new pencils I opted to utilize my old pencil which I was using since 4th year college and during the review days.
|RA Gapuz review batchmates with NLE Top 2 Benedict Bunal & Top 4 Alex Santos during the final coaching|
It seems like I didn’t build a rapport yet with my new pencils at that time. During the exams, I made sure that I didn’t leave a single number without an answer despite of being uncertain with a lot of items in the exam.
The technique that I made use of was to answer all the questions and write my answers first in my questionnaire. Then I allotted 30 minutes to an hour for checking my tentative answers and for shading my answers from 1 -100. With the type of our exam, I felt like I can never be certain with my answers hence I just tried to trust my instincts.
To be honest, I haven’t imagined or dreamed of being in the top spot of our licensure examination. It was surreal and unexpected because in our pre-board exam in RAGRC I just made it to the Top 6 while in our comprehensive and pre-board exams in UST I just got average scores. I even had a score of 61 out of 100 in one of our comprehensive exams in UST. Before the actual board exams, my objectives were to pass the boards and to make it to the 9th or 10th place. But after dealing with the 500 board questions, my only prayer was just to pass the exam without any hopes of being on the list of the topnotchers.
The level of difficulty of the exam caused me to fear the possibility of failing. Through a fellowship we attended, God reminded me of His wonderful promises and revived the hope in me.
I have learned that while we are waiting for His promises to be fulfilled, we must remember to encompass three things: hope, faith and belief.
We must hope for great things to happen, have faith that God is able and believe that immense surprises will happen. Once we have prayed for something, we must have the optimism that it will really happen.
I believe that God willed to place my name in the top spot of our licensure examination to symbolize and to remind each and everyone of us that “Faith” in Him must always be the number one priority in our lives. It’s just like the insulin for the glucose to enter our cells; Faith is the key to let God’s blessings transpire into our lives.
To the next NLE takers and soon-to-be nurses, do not permit your disappointments in the past nor your struggles today define your success in the future. We are all destined and able to succeed.
Regardless of failing for the nth time as long as you keep trying, you are no longer far from those who have already achieved their dreams.
I just want to share a quotation I read somewhere “Every job is a self portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence”. In everything that we do, in every effort we exert and in every attempt we take, we should give all our best until such time when we’ll savor the fruits of our labor.
As the results of our Nursing Licensure Exam were released and new registered nurses were named, should the question be who topped the boards? Or shouldn’t it be who will be able to conquer all the odds to the progress of the nursing profession and the healthcare system? How important is the board exam rating? Is it significant as much as what one can perform and achieve in the actual healthcare setting? Does it matter if you’ve taken the exam twice or thrice? What if you could exemplify the genuine care of a nurse limitlessly? Do we really have to ask for the schools or provinces where one came from? Why don’t we just allow those white nursing shoes lead us back to serve our local communities?
The licensure examination isn’t yet the entirety of our lives as nurses. It is merely a piece of the many achievements and failures that will mold and strengthen our characters as professional nurses. Now, let us begin collecting these pieces and putting them together. Let us now fulfill the very purpose of those two letters next to our last names which is to bring Christ to individuals, families and communities that we will encounter.
Finally, to my forever supportive family; friends; batchmates; teachers from Christian Heritage Academy, Real Central Elementary School, Mount Carmel School of Infanta; professors and support staff from UST College of Nursing and RA Gapuz Review Center; and most of all to our Almighty God, thank you for helping me get through and to where I am today. To God be the glory!