That’s what one of my high school friends said to me one day when we were catching up at brunch.
And it was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever felt in my entire life.
Now before I tell you the whole story, let me introduce myself first.
Hi, I’m Portia Wofford!
And I still remember the very first time I felt ashamed of my title as an LPN.
I was a great nurse. Patients adored me. Providers sought me out for rounds. And family members loved me even more.
But one day, I decided to go to brunch with some high school classmates.
As we caught up and they each proudly talked about their careers, I was so excited to let them know I was a nurse.
"Well, Portia, what are you doing these days?"
I proudly stated, "I'm an LPN!"
At a table of 5, one of them looked at me with a look of disappointment and pity in her eyes and said in front of everyone…
"Oh, you’re not an RN? So you’re not really a nurse?"
I was embarrassed. I had to hold back tears. The wittiness I was known for quickly left my body, and I sat with a dry lump in the back of my throat.
The only thing I could muster up was, "Yes, LPNs are nurses!" And then I quickly changed the subject.
As they rambled on, I excused myself, went to the waitress, asked for my check, paid my bill, and quietly left.
For the next few months, I was obsessed with going back to school to become an RN.
I was scrambling daily, trying to figure out the cheapest and quickest way to go back to school.
I stalked Facebook groups trying to figure out if there were legit online LPN - RN bridge programs.
I was determined to get my RN, and nothing was going to stop me.
That was until I realized that…