Daniel Berry Photography's Blog

  • Thu, 20 Jun 2019 12:42:00 +0000

    Where Have I Been? 

    You may have noticed that I haven’t posted very many travel photos or even kept up with photography in the last 9-10 months. Many have asked what I have been up to over this time. 

    As many of you know, I have been a paramedic since 2011 and in the fire service before that. Recently have wanted to move on and further my career. With the encouragement and support of my new bride, I decided that going to nursing school would be the next best step in my career.  

    The decision to go to nursing school was a difficult one for us to make, as she was also in nursing school at the time. However, it was exactly what I needed as the burnout period of being a medic was in full effect. 

    I had applied for admission to Coffeyville Community College Nursing Program as they had a Paramedic to RN Bridge program and I had everything I needed to apply. After applying and taking the entrance exam, I found out I was placed on the waitlist. Not what anyone ever wants to hear. While I waited, I wanted to be proactive in case I didn't get in. It was time to find a backup plan. 

    I found a way to finish my Bachelor’s degree within a year, and following that to apply for admission into an accelerated BSN program. As time went on it appeared that I wasn't going to be headed to Coffeyville. Then 5 days prior to the program starting I received a call from the Director of Nursing saying that someone was now unable to attend and I was accepted into the program. 

    I was extremely excited to hear this; but did I have enough time to get everything in order to make this happen? What would happen to my relationship with my then girlfriend, now wife? How would I work? So many questions I had to ask myself. 

    Discussions began between my girlfriend and I about what was going to be possible? We weighed the pros and cons. Would I even be able to get something worked out with my job to make this work? All in all, we decided that it would be a great choice to go ahead and attend the program in Coffeyville. This was a short 9-month commitment for us, but how would our relationship hold up? We didn't know. Work was flexible and I worked my shifts on the weekends. So here we go, off to nursing school. 

    Many have asked me questions about my decision and where Coffeyville was. Coffeyville is a small town in Southeast Kansas. Not in Kansas City, as many people thought that’s where I was going. I had made the decision to apply there as my Great Aunt and Uncle live there and the program had a very high success rate in passing boards the first time. If you have ever researched Paramedic to RN bridge programs, there are not many around Missouri and I was not interested in an online program at the time. I would have to go to Coffeyville for 3 days a week which initially didn't seem too bad, but in the end the drive seemed like forever. 

    During school, many obstacles arose. After not being in school full time for quite a few years, I was not used to how to study or prepare for tests, let alone nursing school test. This put a huge stress on me, which I was unsure how to deal with and caused major relationship issues for us. After I figured out ways to prepare and deal with my stress, things began to progress better for my life. Not only that, but the car I was driving ended up needing some work and tires and it wasn't worth it to put the money into it. With the car having high miles many would wonder if it would make the drive. After having a discussion with my girlfriend and my parents, I decided to get a new vehicle and bought a new Subaru Outback, which is by far my favorite car I have ever owned. 

    As a paramedic I thought “oh nursing school! It will be a breeze!” but boy was I wrong. Paramedics are great at emergency medical care and taking care of patients during the short term. I was finding out that the care I was used to giving and my mode of thinking was completely off. By far one of the toughest things to grasp during school was how to think as a nurse. This was difficult due to my experience and the fact that I was still working as a paramedic. 

    As I got closer to being done with nursing school, I started to realize that my assessments at work had changed and my mode of thinking was different than when I started. I am not exactly sure how to explain it. I was glad to see that I had progressed from the knowledge I was learning to become a better clinician. 

    I was able to complete nursing school, while maintaining a great GPA and graduated with my class! I received the Nightingale Award during our Pinning Ceremony, which was such an honor and very unexpected. 

    Now to talk about my wife (Amanda). We had started dating in March of 2018 and she was already in a BSN program, working towards her nursing degree. We had had many discussions about me going to nursing school and options that I had. By far one of the hardest things to think about when I found out I was accepted into the Coffeyville program was our relationship and if it would last. 

    Nursing school is stressful! Relationships are stressful! So, would we last? Or would one fail to accommodate for the other? Neither of us knew but we knew that we were both willing to put in the effort to make it work. Many different obstacles came up for us during the year, but we were able to find ways to make things work and progress our relationship. I proposed to Amanda in April and she said yes. The best part was her daughter had helped me pick out the ring and was able to keep a secret, which is tough for a 9-year-old!!!
    We already knew that we were going to elope and had found the most amazing place! After my pinning ceremony, we hopped on a plane and went to Canada! We were married on May 21, 2019, overlooking Emerald Lake in British Columbia. Emerald Lake Lodge is the most amazing place. I flew one of my best friends, Zara Ashby up to photograph the wedding. The best part about this was we were able to shoot photos over two days! Eloping for us was so easy and surreal. Amanda and I asked each other multiple times if this was real! 

    Now we are a month into our marriage and life has been great minus a few hiccups, but not in our relationship. 

    The hiccups came with me selling my house, which is still for sale if you are interested. CLICK HERE! We had a contract that fell through, which put a damper on us buying a different house, to start our life together in. Luckily, we had a backup plan for if that happened, which is being worked out. 

    Next on the list, was for me to take the NCLEX exam. This is the state nursing board exam. They tell you to make sure you aren't having many stressful things in life going on or moving or getting married, just prior to testing. Well guess what, I had quite a few things going on. I seem to like challenges!!!

    We had just gotten married, dealing with two different house issues (buying and selling which seems like a lot). AND let’s throw one more curve ball in. The night before I took my exam, we were headed back from a Father’s Day dinner and a huge buck jumped in front of my car. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to stop and hit the complete broadside of the deer from the front legs to the back legs. This destroyed the front end of my Subaru, pushing the grill all the way into the engine, every airbag deploying, and the hatch wouldn't close all the way. 

    My main concern was to ensure the safety of my wife and kids, and thankfully we came out uninjured. Not exactly something you want to happen the night before one of the biggest tests of your life. I knew one thing for certain, GOD would not put something in front of me that I couldn't withstand. I prayed daily coming up to this point and knew that He would be with me. In the end I tested on June 17 at 0800 and I found out on June 19 at about 0630 in the morning, on the state board of nursing website that I officially had my license and number. I was extremely excited that I had passed and my wife and I are now both licensed and registered nurses. 

    I want to thank my wonderful wife Amanda, my parents Pam and Kevin Berry for their unconditional support and encouragement through school! My Aunt Ann and Uncle Larry for providing me a place to stay, encouragement, and support. Thank you to all my friends, coworkers, and classmates who supported what I was doing! 

    I am officially a part time (partially retired) paramedic at University of Missouri Ambulance Service now and I have accepted a position at Harry S Truman VA Hospital in Columbia, MO. I look forward to seeing where my career guides and directs me! 

    A few more recent photos below! 

    Photo by: Zara Ashby Photography 

    Photos below are by Me

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Emerald Lake, BC Canada

    Oh Canada

    Wife                                                            Hubs

    A Canadian Squirrel

    Our Familymoon in Clearwater, FL
    Photo by: Margie Schulz

    Sunset over Clearwater

    A day at the Arch

    St Louis Arch

    A view from the Arch

    If interested in purchasing a print of any of these photos Click Here!

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