So as I’ve already said, this is my 3rd year of school nursing. I am leaving the job full time at the end of the month and I’m really going to miss it for many reasons but one of them is that I’ll miss my office!
My office here is the first place that has ever been “mine” to personalize as I want.
The touches I added are the contact paper on the old desk (that I’m sure will be gone as soon as I am) and a lot of green and gold accents.
And of course I can’t forget to mention my Bruin’s calendar that I got at a Bruin’s Foundation fundraiser last year!
I graduated from nursing school in May 2013 which is almost 2 and a half years ago (jeeze, time flies!).
Since graduation I have: passed my boards, worked independently as a camp nurse for 3 summers, worked independently as a school nurse in a special education for two full school years, volunteered as a nurse in my local Medical Reserve Corps, volunteered as a nurse for the Boston Marathon twice (and four years before that as first aid) and volunteered as a nurse for the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. In my role as a nurse throughout these 909 days (yes, I googled it) I have responded to emergencies including seizures, asthma attacks, allergic reactions. I have performed countless gtube feedings, ostomy bag changes, medication administrations, assessments of skin, assessments of gastrointestinal complaints, neurological assessments, and risk screenings. I have written and edited about 30 health care plans. Honestly, I have lost track of all of the “nursing skills” I have utilized over the last 909 days.
Last week I was called a “new grad” many times when at interviews and on the phone with potential employers. At first, I was really insulted. WHAT DO YOU MEAN A NEW GRAD?! DIDN’T YOU READ MY RESUME?! LOOK AT EVERYTHING I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED! But, now that I have thought about it, I definitely still have debts to pay in the field of nursing. There are still plenty of things I question (ask my supervisors, I ask A LOT of questions).
The potential employers who had called me a “new grad nurse” in the last few weeks weren’t necessarily meaning it as an insult either. They know that we “new grad nurses” have things to learn still and will need to be oriented and supervised. They know that “new grad nurses” are coming in hungry for success. They know that we will be flexible. They know that we will want that challenging patient because we are eager to learn. They also know that we have the whole “technology” thing down and will be running circles around those “seasoned nurses” when a new computer system is introduced.
So, I’m vowing here today that “new grad nurse” is no longer an insult. I will embrace that I don’t have “bad nurse habits” yet. I will recognize that I have weaknesses, but I also hold an enormous amount of power!
This week I decided to take a leap of faith and accept a new job. I have been (mostly) satisfied in the position I work in now. I have been here for over 2 years and it is my first “big girl job” (meaning that it is permanent employment and I make a salary).
Some history about my job now: I work in special education as a nurse but my role is so much more than that. I swore up and down that I would never work in pediatrics but here I am. I work with an amazing team and I have learned so much. I have gained so much respect for the special needs community and I will hold that in my heart forever. This job was (almost) worth the 70+ mile a day commute over the last two years because I knew I was making a difference. However, there isn’t much room to grow and I definitely have more growing to do.
Last week I went in for an interview for a weekend position at a rehab/long term care facility down the street from my parent’s house and a job fell into my lap because a nurse is moving across the country! It would have been really hard to say no to. I will be doing a little bit of a lifestyle overhaul because I will be switching to night shift.. Gonna have to learn how to stay up all night WITHOUT gaining weight 🙂
So.. that’s where I stand. It is definitely bittersweet to be moving on from my first job but it is a wonderful opportunity and change promotes growth (I hope)