Imposters, white coats and Dorothy & Toto

I know this title sounds crazy, but stay with me guys, I promise this all makes sense:) Hello everyone! My name is Kelly, I am a sophomore Bachelor’s with a major in nursing student at OHSU’s Monmouth campus and this is my first blog post.

When I was in my pre-req years, I, (like many others), was very dedicated to my studies. It meant long hours of reading and memorizing, endless study nights, and a huge blow to any sort of social life. It was all with the end goal of reaching my dream of getting into OHSU to start my nursing career. However, when the admission email and letter finally came, it was all too surreal. I was beyond excited, but it felt way too good to be true. Even throughout that summer as I completed my compilo training and immunizations, it felt as if I was in a daze, just going through the motions in a dream.

When day one of orientation came around, I had a bad case of what my professors called, “the imposter syndrome”, you know, that unshakable and frightening feeling of, “Did I really just get accepted? Am I really here?”  As I looked around the room at my classmates and professors, I felt like I was in a whole other world that couldn’t possibly be true. I kind of felt something like this. . .


It all seemed so strange how I got there in the first place, but don’t get me wrong, I definitely put in the work. I still have a caffeine-addiction, and an engraved OCD-like study routine to prove what pre-reqs have put me through! However, it was that weird side-effect of working so long and so hard for something that when it finally comes, it just doesn’t seem real, that is, until the day of our white coat ceremony. No longer just for med students, this initiation ceremony was recently implemented by OHSU for their nursing students as well. I’m very grateful that we had this ceremony, because I know it was a turning point for me as well as many of my classmates.


As we were being clothed with that white lab coat and recited our oath together, it all came crashing down on me. It was very real and very humbling at the same time. I was amazingly overwhelmed by the beauty of the responsibility that our profession carries and of the difference that we can make in the lives of our patients. Compassion, integrity, and top quality clinical practice all embody what a nurse is and does in every true sense of those words. To be in any medical profession does indeed take a lot of work. Sacrifice and dedication are some of the most important non-negotiables that are needed to make it happen, but the rewards and joy that come with it are more than worth it all. To wear these hunter green scrubs is a privilege, to wear this OHSU patch is our badge of honor, and to know that we can work with and help heal the sick and suffering is what drives us forward every single day of our lives.

No toto, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, and you know what? It feels pretty amazing.


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