It’s hard to even get my head around everything that has happened so far this year. I started the year off with one of the worse cases of flu I’ve ever had, even though it technically wasn’t “the flu” when I was tested so I couldn’t take tamiful to shorten the duration. But despite feeling like a truck ran over me, I still managed to sit for the NCLEX-RN and pass on my first attempt with the minimum number of 75 questions. I happily added RN to my signature on January 8th, exactly two years after I started nursing school. Then I had the best chance to celebrate by traveling to Disney World to run my first marathon! It was a great trip to Florida, but in the aftermath of that 26.2 miles, I had a rough couple of months before I found my first nursing job. In full disclosure, I had two failed interviews at the hospital where I had dreamed of working since my externship in 2014. However, I followed those with two successful interviews at another hospital system. With two offers on the table, I chose the hospital that I thought would be the best fit for me and started working in March.
Adjusting to working as a “real” RN was one of the most difficult periods of my life. Nothing truly prepares you to actually practice except jumping right into it, but the past 6 months have taught me so much about patient care and how to survive a hectic 12-hour shift. In the in-between-work times, I managed to travel to Texas to visit my beautiful Phi Mu Little and to Costa Rica on a yoga retreat. Both trips were transformative in so many ways. This has just been a year of transformation! It seems that hardly a day goes by that I don’t gain a new perspective on some aspect of my life.
But the changes don’t stop there! In a series of fortunate coincidences, I met a friend of a best friend who works at a top-ranked hospital (not only in my state, but nationally), and she offered me an opportunity to shadow here on the floor. An interview followed by an application (yes, I did that in reverse order), and I got a job offer! The funny thing is that I got the offer while I was in Costa Rica without cell service, so it was the first voicemail I received when I landed back in the USA. I’m going from a Med-Surg position to a Neuroscience ICU floor – and I’ll be getting a huge upgrade in nursing skills. Very good news! After some negotiation with the timing of my start date and my “last day” at my current hospital, I am set to start later this month. And I will also be making a move closer to my new job. The 40-minute commute I have endured most of the year would turn into 70 minutes without the move, so a move is necessary.
Ever since I got back from Costa Rica, it’s just been a constant series of adjustments as I prepare for my next steps. I’m nervous to be shaking my life up in so many ways all at once, but I’m thinking of it sort of like ripping off a band-aid. After all the dust settles (probably not until December, I imagine), I’ll be ready to have a little tranquility in my life.
Tomorrow I officially turn 28 and I’m pretty sure I’m about as far from where I thought I’d be at 18 as it is possible to be. I’m a nurse, not a geologist/environmental engineer. I’m a runner, not a couch potato. I’ve been living with my boyfriend for over a year now, though my 18-year-old self probably thought I’d be married with kids by now. I’m a dog person, no longer a cat person. Probably the only thing that has stayed the same is my outgoing personality and my impressive ability to procrastinate and yet still get stuff done. I wonder where I’ll be at 38…will the next 10 years fly by as quickly?