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I am returning to school to complete a BSN degree because it is a prerequisite for me to change my military occupation code (MOS) and return to Active Duty as a nurse. 

I see myself in the third, new beginnings phase of Bridge’s Model of Transition because I have my sights set on future goals post-graduation (Blais & Hayes, 2015); I have accepted my transition from an in-person ADN student to an online BSN student and have modified my behavior to ensure success in said role (where “success” is measured by completion of the degree with a cumulative GPA of > 3.5). 

In the absence of a fourth phase to Bridge’s Model, Blais and Hayes (2015) emphasize the importance of prioritizing a healthy work-life balance to prevent slipping back to a previous phase that no longer serves the goals of the current one. Once internalized, character traits that would help solidify my position in the new beginnings phase include reflectiveness, determination, resilience, and confidence (Blais & Hayes, 2015). Because this program is more rigorous than my last one, leaving behind previous habits and staying committed to the revised time hacks and study goals I have established for myself will be essential to my success.

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Why are you returning to school?

I decided to return to school to further my knowledge and meet the entry-level requirements most healthcare facilities seek in this ever-evolving, high-demand profession, as technology and evidence-based practices enhance patient safety and care. Returning to school will not only improve my critical thinking when it comes to patient outcomes, but it will increase my salary and provide more job opportunities as I continue to acquire new skills that demand a higher level of complexity as I transition into new areas within my specialty as a Perioperative RN.

Using key points from the Bridges Model, where do you see yourself transitioning to the professional level role? What professional skills and characteristics will you need to develop to transition to the next level in the Bridges Model of Transition?

Within the three phases of the Bridges Model, I find myself in the ending phase, as a new grad nurse working as an RN for just five months. It has been a challenge. I sometimes struggle with disengagement as I shift from my old nursing student role to my new RN role (Blais & Hayes, 2016). During this new role as an RN, I wonder if I made the right choice; according to the Bridges Model, I enter the disorientation component of doubt as I transition into the new role (Blais & Hayes, 2016). Now, rather than observing and getting a little hands-on experience during the clinical rotation as a student nurse, the roles have shifted. The responsibilities are now mine as I embrace this new role as an RN.

In this new role as an RN, the professional skills and characteristics I will need to develop to transition to the next level of the Bridge Model would be adequate time management, gaining more confidence in myself, and knowing that I can achieve each task and obstacle daily. I earned my license, and now it is time to embrace my new role, learn new skills, and get out of my comfort zone. As I progress in my current role as an RN as well as achieving my BSN, embracing the shift in changes and knowing it is just an integral part of life in the field of nursing will allow me to transition to the next level in the Bridges Model, as my mindset adopts to the new challenges I will face along the way.

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