January and February were very busy months. On a whim, I applied to the Emergency Department of my local County hospital. I had applied after graduation for their new grad residency, but while they said they were impressed with me the available slots went to people who were already working there as techs and paramedics. I honestly didn’t think I had gained enough experience to get hired, and if I did I expected the process to take a couple of months. Little did I know that 8 days later I’d have an official offer in hand. Apparently I’d made more of an impression than I’d thought, as one of the nurses interviewing me not only remembered me, but has repeatedly expressed how happy she is that I returned.
I had intended to stay at my first job longer, but once I got into the work there I found that I am just not happy with a patient population where I’ll have the same patients for weeks and months on end. Many nurses are happiest there, where they can build rapport with the patients and their families and be there as the progress is made back toward home, or to mourn with them when it’s not going to work out that way. I’m glad there are nurses that love that environment. I joke that I’m a “treat ‘em and street ‘em” kinda girl. But ultimately it’s true. I really love the faster (and many times crazy) pace of the ER with a different 20+ patients a shift. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity my first hospital gave me, and I’ll be staying on to work a few shifts a month there so I can help out when they have staffing issues.
I am very fortunate that my new hospital has an extensive training program for nurses new to ER. I regretted missing out on the new grad residency, but I think this program with its extended preceptor-ship is also excellent. I’ve been there a little over a month now, and won’t be “on my own” until mid May. It’s thrilling and scary and I’m loving it. I don’t feel as though I truly have a “handle” on things yet, so I’m really glad I have several more weeks with a preceptor. I get to switch to nights next week, which will be wonderful. Though I like having a “normal” schedule so I can more easily do things with my kid and new guy, it’s like swimming against the current for me. I’m absolutely a night shift nurse, and I can’t wait to get back to it.
In related news, I am one research paper away from completing my Bachelors’ program. I will get to add more letters behind my name. RN-BSN is the designation for registered nurses with a BSN. It also means that I get to take a few years away from school and focus on becoming the best ER nurse I can before I take that experience and head off for my Doctorate in Nursing Practice so I can become a Nurse Practitioner. I decided to go ahead and drive to Lubbock in May for the commencement, after a friend on Facebook reminded me that it was the only place I’d be able to ever get the picture of walking the stage and getting my diploma. My parents have waited a long time to get to see me walk for a bachelors’ degree, so it will be worth the trek.
It’s amazing to look back at my posts over the last several years and see where my life has led. I’ve spent so many years following paths that weren’t the best for me, and it’s so completely different when I stopped and followed my heart. I am truly happy for the first time in a very long time. I am in my dream job. While my kiddo will always have some chronic health issues, they aren’t keeping her from being an athlete, musician, and honors student. I have met an awesome guy who thinks I’m fantastic. I have an incredible group of friends and family who I love dearly and have been a support network for me like none other. All the other little complaints I have are truly minor and most are being resolved. Life is good, and I am blessed.