Well, I have had some big changes in my career recently and I thought I would share. Best place to start is the beginning, so here goes!
I have been an RN since 98. All of my time has been spent in the ICU. After graduation I did about 4 months in a community hospital ICU and got real bored real quick, so I took a position at a teaching hospital in Chicago. I worked in the Surgical/Neuro ICU for 6 months and learned a great deal. I gained trauma experience in this unit as well. A position opened up in the Adult Surgical Heart Unit and since cardiac was my true love, I applied and got the job.
I have been working there ever since. I can't even begin to tell you the wealth of knowledge I have gained from this experience. The surgeons are great, the nurses are great; we are like one big happy family! After about 2 years, I started precepting, which quickly became a passion for me. I finally knew this is where I wanted to take my career.
Last July, I started working on my Bachelor's and I plan to continue on for my Master's. The hospital that I work for is trying to achieve Magnet. So there have been a great many changes in the hospital. Last year I was asked to co-chair the unit council. I accepted. Aside from that I have also been taking charge on the weekends that I work.
This past October, I went into my mangers office and told her that I needed to drop my status to registry. My son was having problems in school and I needed to be home more. She was very accomodating, and during this conversation, I told her eventually I would like to come back staff. She said that wouldn't be a problem. (Mistake # 1)
Just recently, my husband's insurance carrier changed and the cost of family coverage went through the roof. We couldn't afford it. So, I went back to the manager and told her that I needed a staff position. I explained the whole insurance dilemma and what happened next shocked me. She said that there were no positions available, unless I wanted to work nights. I haven't worked nights in 4 years! I was stunned! Now mind you, my phone rings off the wall asking can you work an extra day, we are so short staffed. PLEASE HELP!!!! You guys know how it is, EVERY hospital is short! So, I called their bluff and started interviewing. When I was called for my first interview I went in the office again and made it known. The response.....there is nothing I can do.....plus what makes you think you will be able to find a day job anyway? I was furious! :angryfire Part of Magnet is staff retention and they were NOT doing one single thing to retain me! The surgeons were mad, the nurses were furious and I was hurt, angry and depressed. These people had become my family. I loved working with them, and learning from them, I didn't want to leave. I became really depressed. I was crying and couldn't bear the thought of leaving. I couldn't understand why they would let me go so easily. Someone who was loyal, flexible, involved, and smart!
Most of the staff confronted the manager, angry at my treatment and demanding they keep me. I was so touched by their support, but things remained the same. I finally called the director of critical care, and got the old soft shoe. It was hopeless. I interviewed at a hospital near my home, a 30 min drive, quite different form the 60 min drive I had normally been taking. I reluctantly interviewed in their ICU. I was greeted by the manager, who was close to my age. She had only been managing for 6 months and was very enthusiastic about her role. They were starting a new open-heart program with a big-shot surgeon from a Chicago hospital. She offered me the job on the spot. I asked for the weekend to think about it, I was so torn.
Monday rolled around and I received a call from them. They were officially offering me the position, but not only that, they wanted me to precept the staff for open-heart recovery, and they wanted me to help develop the program with the surgeon and the nurse manager.
I was shocked. It was the opportunity of a lifetime! I accepted.
This has been the worst 3 weeks of my life, but it turned out for the best in the end. God had a plan, and it was better than I could ever even imagine. True, I will miss my friends, but I will keep in touch. They are all so happy for me! So, I guess my point is, don't be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone! Explore all opportunities that come along. After all, everything happens for a reason!
Thanks for listening.....I needed that!