Five Years Completed and Still Loving It
The first time I looked on the Board of Registered Nursing website and saw those two precious little letters behind my name, I was so happy. The road to get there seemed so long, so hard. But as I saw my name again on that screen it was all a blur. Five long years: going to school full time, sometimes six days a week, missing my family, studying day and night. It was all worth it. Now let us fast forward another five years.As a new nursing student, with a look of awe I would look at experienced nurses and think "Wow....I can't wait until I have been working as long as they have, to know what they know." Well, now I am there and I am the same person I was then. I just know a little bit more now.
I realized that I will never know everything. There is always room to keep learning, to keep growing and evolving. The key is to learn from my experiences and my mistakes and to use this knowledge for my benefit and for the patients I care for. The last five years as an RN were just as much of a learning experience as all of the years of school, if not more.
The first year as a new nurse I was giddy with excitement. I was almost down right goofy. I was SO happy that I was finally a nurse. I remember my preceptor on the telemetry unit I worked on thought I was WAY too happy all the time. But she was nice and very patient with me. I worked overtime whenever possible because I considered this more experience and more knowledge.
After the first six months I wasn't smiling so much. I wasn't unhappy, not all. The "I can't believe I am finally here!" feeling just seemed to wear off a bit, I was becoming a part of the team. I was starting to put things together and learning how to time manage and prioritize a little bit better.
I continued to grow and learn. I think it took about two and a half years for the "honeymoon" feeling to go away. Now I was just another nurse on the floor. I still enjoyed what I did, very much so. I enjoyed working with patients and being a part of a team. It was very rewarding. I stopped working overtime though. I was feeling the toll of the extra days. I also missed my family. I realized the extra money was not worth the time I was missing with my husband and kids, time I would never get back again. So I happily worked my three days a week and declined offers for overtime.
At three years I felt like I had a handle on what I was doing and had my routine down. I also felt like change was coming. I didn't know what kind of change but something was stirring in me. At three and a half years I started looking into another position. I realized I wanted to pursue my original goal as an ophthalmic nurse. A dream that started in 1994 when I attended a continuing education class sponsored by the Ophthalmic Nurses Society (ASORN)
I worked at an ambulatory surgery center for a short time before being recruited by my current employer, a large eye surgery center: my true dream job. I have now been at my current job for over a year and love every minute of it.
I am grateful for my time as a bedside nurse on a busy telemetry unit. That experience taught me how to manage my time, how to multi-task, and how to prioritize. I feel that I am well equipped for my present job and feel less stressed because I have learned valuable tools.
Five years down and hopefully many more to go. I am thankful for the last five years working as a nurse: every experience, every patient, every coworker I have had the privilege to work with. I have learned to take each experience, good or bad, calm or hectic and use it as a piece of knowledge, something I can take with me as I further my career in nursing. Each experience is a little pearl, a gem that I can put away and recall again when need be. These precious jewels of experience, of time, these are priceless and I am grateful for them.
Cheers! Here's to the next five years.Last edit by Joe V on Feb 2, '14
About NF_eyenurse, BSN
Nursefrances has worked in the field of telemetry and currently works as a pre-op/post op nurse in an ambulatory surgery center specializing in ophthalmology. She enjoys mentoring nurses and nursing students.
NF_eyenurse has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Ambulatory Surgery, Ophthalmology, Tele'. From 'USA'; 42 Years Old; Joined Dec '08; Posts: 3,628; Likes: 5,542.7Jan 20, '14 by All4NursingRNThis reminds me of me, also at the start of my career wanting to know everything and trying to plan out each step of the way. Now 7 years in I realize your plan doesn't always work and life has a way of always steering us in the best direction, sometimes a direction we never thought of.1Jan 22, '14 by NF_eyenurse, BSN GuideQuote from Kooky KorkyNot anymore. I did in the hospital.Do you work with any nurses' aides?
Now I work in an ambulatory surgery center. Patients come in for eye surgery. They are with us for a few hours then go home. I work with other RNs, LVNs and scrub techs.