Posted in being in nursing school, fear of the unknown

Bringing it all to a close

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The first month of the last semester of nursing school is almost over (You may have to read that three more times to understand what I just said). I did a great job on my Exit HESI, and thank goodness I did, because I studied so so so hard for that thing.

This, coupled with my nothing-lower-than-a-B grades mean I get to choose a specialty for my final clinical rotation. I chose Labor and Delivery as my first choice, and the OR as my second choice. Having already spent 3 months in the OR over the summer, I’d like to give another specialty a try to help make the decision much easier when I leave school and become a full fledged nurse.

Let’s talk about that for a minute. I feel absolutely and completely torn. What the hell kind of nurse do I want to be? I love Labor and Delivery, and I love the Operating Room. Do I have to know right now? What if I pick the wrong thing? What if they don’t like me? I’ll be 33 years old when I graduate – not exactly a spring chicken, but not even a toe in the grave just yet. Does that mean I’ll have less time to switch teams once I do choose what kind of nurse I want to be? All good questions, sure, but are they pointless? Considering the fact that the job chooses where we get to be, and not our preferences, I think it’s a little pointless to fret like I am. Is it indecision, or is it fear of the med-surg floor that I can’t get over. Nothing about me wants to be a medical surgical nurse. Nothing. I know that sounds ridiculously spoiled to you seasoned nurses who did your time in the trenches before rising to the glory that is your preferred specialty. I totally get it. I know.

I learned an awful lot about med-surg in our clinical rotations. You know, things like I don’t want to do this, and I don’t want to do that – and man are these nurses miserable or what, and nobody respects their nurse manager. The patients are so sad to be here and the nurses don’t want to be here either. Skill wise I learned a lot, too, but it was grossly over shadowed by the horrowed experience of all those around me – and their constant complaining that they hated their jobs.

I feel too old to be miserable. I’ve already done the misery – that’s what brought me to nursing. I don’t want to do it again. I have a young family and I want to add another member to that family; if I have to be away from them, I want to love what I do. What’s wrong with that? I can hear my seasoned nurse friends telling me that if I want to be a nurse, I have to have the skills and the only way to get the skills is to do med-surg…but I disagree. I disagree because I believe in change and evolution. I think a new era of nursing is arising and I think we are seeing people struggle in specialties as new grads, or new transitions, when previously, you came into a specialty an absolute badass — and we can’t handle that it isn’t true anymore. The fumbly nurses are not only in med-surg anymore — they’re coming into your specialties and by the time they’re done with that specialty, they are absolute specialized badasses. I totally get it, seasoned nurse. I get it. Why does this new grad get to waltz right into what took me years to accomplish — and then do it being paid leaps and bounds more than I ever had when I started. I get that. I have that same feeling sitting in class with accelerated nursing students who just 2 semesters ago I was helping to interview to determine if they would get in to our School of Nursing. It’s called¬†hating. I have to call myself out on this pretty frequently. It’s tough. So, I get it.

Not quite sure what I’m going to do about your feelings towards what I want for my life, though. It will be hard to know you don’t like me or are unhappy with my decisions, but that’s just it. These are my decisions to do with my life. I am going to try my damndest not to disappoint you, though, seasoned nurses. I’m going to try my damndest!!!

In other news, I have been looking into Graduate Nurse residency programs here in town and some of them are absolutely amazing. They’re going to be great to get rid of that culture shock when people are going through the same thing as you just out of school. I’m praying I get one of the specialties I’ve requested. I have some certifications I’m working on and hoping to have done before I graduate to make me an even better candidate. At the end of the day though, I just want to be happy – with a handful of coworkers I can call my friends and mentors. Is that too much for a girl to ask?

 

Posted in being in nursing school, Extracurriculars

New Year Reflections

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Happiest of New Years, WordPress readers! I am so thrilled to announce that I am a Certified Lactation Counselor as of December 11th, 2015! I just found out this week and I couldn’t be more excited. What a great way to go into the 5th and final semester of nursing school.

But, I have to be honest. I ran into a little bit of a wonderful experience that has made me feel torn about what my 2016 future may hold.

You see, 2 months ago I sent an email to my Nurse Manager from my OR summer externship to check in — ya know, see how things are and let her know how I’m doing. No different to what I have been doing since I was in the externship. I loved my experience there. Everything about it – the people I worked with, the hours, the management. Sure, there were things that I would like to have seen improved morale wise, but improvement is an opportunity in my eyes. At any rate, we met over coffee (actually, she had tea) and chatted. And then, something amazingly unexpected happened; she told me she had put my name forward for one of the nurse residency programs here in the area for when I graduate. How exciting!!! I knew I had some soul searching to do…because the next few words that came out of her mouth had me thinking on my toes “I mean, that is, if you’re still interested?”

Sigh. Am I still interested? Of course I’m still interested! I LOVE the OR!!! …but, I also love Women’s Health — I just became a Lactation Counselor and have plans to pursue that. But hell, who says I can’t have both? I can very well have both. She just offered me a shoe-in for a nurse residency program that is highly competitive. A foot in the door – and not just any foot, but a foot in a specialty area that new grads don’t just walk right into at a hospital that everybody wishes they could call their nursey home. Am I interested? Hell yeah I’m interested. So — how did I answer her?

“Yes, of course!! That is wonderful. Thank you so much. What do I need to do?” That’s how I answered her. I, of course, told her that there were two things I was passionate about — The Operating Room, and Women’s Health. To my relief, she also loved Women’s Health and told me that whenever she had the chance to float to help out in another unit, she always chose women’s health. Ahh. A common ground. Listen, I’m no idiot. I recognize fully that I have a 3 year old who is about to start school soon. I recognize that my husband is broody and ready for another child – as am I. I fully recognize that the OR is going to have amazing hours, less weekends and less holidays – especially at this particular unit. And I recognize that nursing is a wonderful journey full of different paths that can be traversed at any given time.

This is not business.

This is not business.

I have to remember that nursing is NOT business. I don’t have to be an accountant, or a market researcher or a sales person. I get to be a nurse in a ¬†wide variety of positions and specialties. I can switch and change my mind at any time and at 32 years old — I’m still relatively young and have another 30 years of work ahead of me.

I once met an OR nurse (DNP, CNOR at that) who was also…a Certified Lactation Educator. She did them both. I like that. I sat on a student panel to talk about my OR externship and expressed to the group of seasoned OR nurses that I went into nursing to become a Lactation Consultant…and I still want to achieve that dream. But, I’m in love with the OR and will find a way to marry them. An overwhelming supportive sigh of “awwww” came from these nurses who assured me I could do both. That was a great feeling.

Somehow, I’m going to pull off both of these things.

Watch this space.

In other news, the final semester starts next week. I’m ready to get this over with — I’m also not looking forward to all of the clinical hours and having my nose in a book again. On top of that, I have the final push of potty training my son, we’re down to one car, my husband is nursing a bum foot and I have to start registering L.D. for school. Another great reason to accept all the help a resilient nurse manager is offering me. I have plenty to think about!!

What is in your 2016 plan?