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.

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