Posted in being in nursing school, fear of the unknown

Graduation & Jobs

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Well, gang. I did it. I graduated. I finished my 5th and final semester of nursing school and while part of me is really, really, excited, the other part of me is terrified. Let me start off by saying I was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. I was in the top 30% of my class. That impresses me, because God knows I had to work really hard to keep my head above water. It didn’t seem like anyone else needed to work nearly that hard to pull off the same grades, but, dammit, I did.

My hard work paid off. The last few weeks of nursing school were filled with evenings receiving award after award, going to scholarship banquets, award ceremonies and just overall recognition for being awesome. Before you roll your eyes at my mightier-than-thouness, please understand I say this with a heavy dose of disdain. I have no idea what to do with all of these awards. Do I frame them and make a wall of awesome? Do I use them to roll sushi on the particularly tough Monday afternoons? Do I stare at them and wish I was still in nursing school because now I have no idea what to do with myself? I mean, seriously? What do I do with these?

I thought about putting them on my resume, but I can’t imagine what prospective employers would want to do with knowing I attended the National Student Nurses’ Association convention and learned how to apply for this very job. I mean…seriously (I have to say that so far every employer has loved that)?

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As I look back on the final year of nursing school and reflect on each of the accomplishments for which I was awarded, I am reminded of really happy moments that I know I will miss in the near future. I will miss my cohort. I will miss my faculty. I will miss knowing exactly what was coming up next. Now that I’m finished, there aren’t words all over my calendar anymore. They have been replaced with TV shows. I had to find something to do. So, like a good nursing student, I started job hunting.

I began applying for jobs in the early part of the final semester and landed 2 amazing offers. Both before I had even graduated or taken the NCLEX. One offer is located in our local healthcare system and the other in a very well known and cutting edge facility that anybody would be CRAZY to say no to. That is…unless, of course, you are me. Guys, I think I’m going to be that one crazy son of a bitch that unlike any other able bodied and clever human being, decides to work at the local healthcare facility over the 100 best places to work facility. Here’s why I’m crazy:

Option A: Local healthcare facility. 5 minutes from my home. Easily $10K less than Option B per year. Smaller, home-feeling, facility with access to Labor and Delivery (YAY!). 15 minutes from my son’s school. Across the street from my husband’s job. Staff is known to me. Director loves me (and I love her). Flexible hours.

Option B: 100 Best Places to Work facility: 25 – 35 minutes from my home. $10K more than Option A per year. Big. No L&D. 45 – 55 minutes from my son’s school. Unknown staff. Excellent resume builder. Doing same thing I would be doing in Option A. Hours not flexible as Option A.

I am so seriously struggling with this. I have been agonizing over this. I have exactly 24 hours to give my answer and I still don’t know what my answer will be. I feel a tremendous since of loyalty to Option A. But I know, on paper, Option B is the more clever choice. I wish like hell I had someone else to make this decision for me. I wish I could say that I’m enjoying my time away from school but all I am doing right now is agonizing over this potential career changer.

So, I’ve promised myself I would come back here and not only update the world on where I am at now, but also remind myself why I became a nurse. I became a nurse because I was extremely inspired by my Labor and Delivery nurses, lactation nurses and the OR team that worked my c-sections. I fell in love with the OR on the way, because I love the atmosphere of the OR, but my first love will always be babies. There are absolutely 0 babies at Option B. Additionally, how much is my family worth to me? The time spent in traffic driving for an hour only to get home in just enough time to watch my son fall asleep may not be worth it. At least not at this point in his life while he is so small.

Also, let’s think about this. Have you read my About section? You know that part where I say I have been “doing the latter for over 12 years”? About that: the reason I was in business for over 12 years is because of the golden carrot. The golden carrot was the big wad of cash that was dangling in front of my face all of the time. That fat wad of cash (and knowing I was working for Fortune 100 company) kept me from exploring who I was and working within my passion. MONEY and STATUS kept me a prisoner for so long. And here it was again, dangling in front of my face as if God is challenging me to say “Are you sure?”. I thought I was, God. I thought I was sure. And then you put this opportunity in front of me that people fight over. YES! I am sure. But, am I stupid?

Sigh. The good news is that it has put me in a position to ask Option A if they can do anything to match Option B. As a new grad, I gather this is absolutely unheard of so I’m not expecting much, but my recruiter absolutely understood my predicament. It’s difficult to choose between what you want to do and what money is trying to force you to do. I didn’t come to nursing for money. I came to nursing because I wanted to love what I did. I wanted to love it. That’s why I’m here. If I don’t love it, then why do it? I made great money in business. Great money. But, it didn’t fulfill me in the least bit. I want to be fulfilled.

In other news, I should probably mention that I just received my testing eligibility from the Board of Nursing and am waiting patiently on the ATT from PearsonVue. That makes things feel awfully real! Oh! And my classmate and I were the speakers at our Pinning Ceremony. It was a hoot!!

Wish me luck tomorrow as I pray for guidance towards the correct path. I’m accepting all good juju!!

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