Tomorrow I’ll be attending the nursing research symposium where I presented my capstone project last year. This year I’m attending it as a preceptor, though. Hard to believe that it’s been a year. When the student I’m working with talks to me about her experiences I can’t help but feel some of the old anxiety in my bubble up, in spite of the fact that I have my degree (somewhere… hm) and the transcript stating that I passed my final classes. I guess it’s just not that far behind me yet!
So, what does one do when one is still getting used to not being a student? Why, go back to being a student, of course! I haven’t 100% committed yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to take pharmacology in the spring. I haven’t applied for the FNP certificate program yet, but this would help me make some progress towards that while I’m still deciding (it’s not like learning more about pharmacology would be a bad thing even if I scrapped the FNP idea!).
Work’s been going fairly well the past few weeks. I had a down few months there… some of it related to my actual job, some simply related to my feelings about what I want out of my career. I’ve definitely felt that I’ve made strides at work and if I decide I want to go further in quality and/or administration I’m laying a firm foundation there. I restarted the hospital’s pneumonia team and I’ve impressed myself with my ability to run a meeting in 35-45 minutes that covers everything we need, allows time for discussion, and results in action plans at the end of it. Beginners luck, maybe… we’ll see. I just became editor-in-chief of the hospital’s nursing newsletter, too. Not as big of a deal as it may seem… people were not exactly clamoring for the position. It’s hard enough to get people to want to join the newsletter committee, let alone edit it, but I’m a grammar and writing nerd (on top of my many other nerdy qualities) as well as a bit of a glutton for punishment, so I volunteered to take up the slot that was being vacated. I’ve also taken over reviewing the stroke charts which has been a challenge, but I’m getting a handle on it and even managed to pinch-hit running our stroke committee a few weeks ago when the regular team leader wasn’t able to be there. So I’m happy about all of those things. I feel like I’m challenged and learning new things, which is a far cry from career #1… whenever I think, gee, didn’t I do all this work to get away from the cube farm? I remember that I used to get paid pretty darned well to twiddle my thumbs. I don’t have much thumb-twiddling time here, and that’s a very good thing!
Oh, but the patients… still miss the patients. Still feel sad when the scrub catalogs come in the mail. Still feel wistful when I am on patient care units. Still have visions of neonatal intensive care units dancing in my head. Still hate the long-winded explanation that results when people ask me, “what kind of a nurse are you?” And at the same time, I wonder how I’d feel if and when I go back to direct care. Could I really just do direct care? Because I know I’d miss the big picture piece I have right now… argh. Never satisfied, me.
So that’s the one-year-out-of-nursing-school report. Wonder what the two-year report will bring? Stay tuned….