Thursday, July 17, 2014

Break from the Blog

Back from the blog break.  If I at least kept a journal, I would feel better about not posting on here more regularly. The other night I was at dinner with some close friends and we were talking about blogging and I learned that neither one of them even knew that I had a blog!

So, where was I?  In February, I spent lots of time studying for my boards and spent time just enjoying doing nothing.  I was anxiously awaiting to get authorization to take my test.  Each week...waiting and waiting.  Finally, at the beginning of March I received my letter and was able to schedule a test date!  It was time to buckle down and study continuously for the next 3 weeks.

I took the NCLEX in Redlands and, for sure, it was the most anguishing thing I have ever done.  I went into the test feeling so prepared and when the test began, it was one question after another that I felt unsure about.  I normally keep it together, and instead, I almost burst into tears midway through the test.  2-1/2 hours and about 120 questions later, my computer screen shut off and the test was over.  I had the biggest pit in my stomach.  There was no chance in hell that I passed the test.  I left and cried in the car the whole way home.

Each day for the next week, I continually checked the Board of Registered Nursing website to see if my name was on there.  Each day, nothing.  Finally, a week later, I was setting up for a Stella & Dot party, when my friend, and fellow classmate called me.  I answered the phone and she said, "Lori....YOU'RE A NURSE!!!!!!"  She had been checking the website, as well, and saw my name.  It was the most surreal moment ever.  I was officially a registered nurse.  Wow!!

So, now that I was official and could actually put my license number on an application, I began to search for jobs.  It's been very funny when talking to people about my job search.  All everyone has heard about for years is this "nursing shortage."  Oh, you'll have no problem finding a job with this nursing shortage, I hear often.  But, the reality is, for the new graduate, nursing jobs are not so easy to come by.  Hospitals want experienced nurses, unless they have a new grad program.  So, I began to apply for some jobs here and there.  Initially, I decided I was going to be a little selective about where I applied.  Many new nurses, in order to gain experience, will go work at a skilled nursing facility--a place which I wasn't interested in pursuing.

So, I put in several applications at Eisenhower and I applied for the new grad program at Desert, requesting either Labor & Delivery or the NICU.  The program at Desert is very competitive to get into, as they get over 400 applications for about 20-30 spots in the whole hospital.  I was not holding my breath.  I applied for other jobs, as well.  There are several areas of nursing that interest me, such as the OR.

As I continued to look for jobs, in May, I learned of an internship opportunity that became available.  I could choose what units to intern in and the hospital that I wanted.  During the time I contemplated doing this, Craig's job at PGA West was eliminated.  We were suddenly BOTH unemployed!  I could not believe this.  Just when we were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, this happens.  So after a lot of thought, and some tears, we decided that I would pursue this internship, as it would give me more experience and get my foot in the door at Desert, and meanwhile, I would continue looking for (paying) work, as well.

So, here it is July.  I did get called by Desert for interviews for both units.  I felt really good about both interviews.  In the same week, I also was called for an interview at Eisenhower and also at a cosmetic surgeon's office.  In all, I had 5 interviews in 4 days!  Crazy.  I finished my internship in the NICU last week and I will start Labor & Delivery this weekend.  The NICU was a great experience and I learned so much and the staff was amazing--all making their jobs look so easy and also making me feel right at home.  I am so looking forward to L&D.  L&D was what I originally went to nursing school for.  I am sure, though, that I would be so happy in either unit.  I am hoping by the end of next week, I know if a job offer is on the table from one of these units!!  Praying!!!!

And as far as the rest of our summer?  Chandler was gone to South Carolina for 10 days and had a blast with the Britton family.  Craig has been in Canada for the last 11 days and comes home tomorrow.  It's been since June 29th that our whole family has been together under one roof. Rylee leaves for cheer camp next week.  I went to the beach for a day..  and with the hopes of escaping our heat again soon... and maybe for longer than a day.

Until next time.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I have been away from this little writing corner for a while now and I am not quite sure why.  I mean, it's not like I have been busy.  Really.  I have not been busy.  I have been anxious to write about the most amazing experience of graduating from nursing school, and for whatever reason I have continued to put it off.  But, here I am. 

Off and on over the last month, I've considered no longer "blogging."  I'm not really a "writer."  And I have just 6 followers (although I have a ton of page views, so I know you are reading..thank you for that!) But, I figure even if I no longer "blog" at least I should write about the wrap up of nursing school.  It's how this blog came to journey through nursing school. 

So...our 4th semester came to a close with our final on December 12th.  It was a bittersweet end--such relief and also some sadness with knowing that our life and routine over the last two years as we knew it was about to end.  After much anxiety and some drama regarding our final grades on the following day, I found out that I would be graduating!

My mom and both of my sisters came to town.  Actually, my sister, Andrea, surprised us all and flew in and made the graduation even more special.  It's been a very long time since we were all together. 

I was beyond honored when I was selected by my class to speak at our ceremony.  About two weeks before our graduation I put together a speech with very little effort.  Over the course of the two weeks, I added and edited here and there.  But, the day before our ceremony, on Sunday, I finally decided I needed to rehearse.  Oops...after 13 minutes I was only halfway through.  I panicked.  I went back to the computer and did more editing.  Still too long.  I went back for more and still...too long!! I was having major anxiety.   Like, seriously, my heart was pounding out of my chest, as if I was about to walk on that stage right then and give this speech.  Meanwhile, my sister walks into my house surprising me, and although I tried to contain my panic, I was a mess.  Finally, I is what it is.  I cut out what I could and I hoped I wouldn't put anyone to sleep.  It was time to enjoy my time with my family.  And that we did.  My aunt and uncle hosted an amazing dinner for us that night and we enjoyed some wonderful quality time. 

So, Monday came.  I drove Rylee to school that morning (yes, I made her go to school in the morning) and practiced my speech for her in the car.  She was like.."uh, you aren't really going to say that are you?"  "Yes, I am," I said.  She is my harshest critic. Our pinning ceremony was lovely and my speech went off without a hitch and I don't think anyone went to sleep! 

I felt so honored and grateful that my family and some of my nearest and dearest friends who made the effort to be there that day.  I mean, Monday at 2:00...taking off work or making arrangements for kids or whatever.  It meant the world to me for them to be there for something that was such a huge accomplishment for me.  I received some of the most sincere, heartfelt feedback in cards and texts after our ceremony and my heart never felt so full. 

After the ceremony, friends and family gathered for a fun celebration at the Yard House...a festive time with good music, cocktails and appetizers.  I tried my best to take in every moment, as surreal as it was. 

Unfortunately, Andrea had to go home the following day, but I got my mom and sister Sheri for awhile longer.  Actually, Sheri stayed for a whole 10 days.  We got in some good sister time.  Don't remember the last time that happened. 

So...what's happened since then?  A lot of celebrating.  About 3 solid weeks of celebrating.  Cleaning the house and organizing.  Catching up on life, coffee with friends, and trying to get back into shape.  Cooking.  And studying...because, yes, I have graduated, but now I, along with my entire class, await hearing from the Board of Registered Nursing, as to when we can take the NCLEX.  I am beside myself that they are so behind in processing applications.  So....we wait.  And continue to study. 

Tune in for more.  Maybe I'm not done blogging.