I graduated from nursing school
in 2011 on the tail end of The Great Recession when NO ONE was hiring new grads and open positions were few and far between. I worked med/surg for 3 months before being laid off/let go, was unemployed for a year, moves out of region, worked in an LTC for three months where I failed miserably, worked for a blood bank before getting fired after 6 months and finally, deciding to take two years off to really decide if nursing was for me.
I was depressed and anxious, and that was partly the reason for my underperformances at those first jobs. I had a hard time looking for a job because I thought I was a failure whom no one wanted and even in one interview, where I actually made it to the third round of interviews, I burst into tears after I flubbed a question and the interviewer said perhaps I should work in a hospital bedside for a while first - it had been 3 horrible years of moving and job searching and being rejected over and over again by any hospital. I felt like a failure.
My husband was beyond supportive and I just stopped, unsure if I really wanted nursing. The thought made me depressed and anxious and I thought become a nurse and racking up student loans to become one was the biggest mistake o could make in my life. But husband just loved me and let me be mom and raise our kids and figure out what I needed, even if it meant being a SAHM for the rest of my life.
I went to therapy, started medication and forgave myself for the past. It was HARD. After two years of being mom and restoring my would, I decided on a whim I would see what was out there.
By 2016 the market was so much more open than it had been in 2011. And I knew I wasn't THAT interested in bedside nursing. Perhaps something where I was more autonomous and my schedule was flexible and I didn't have a supervisor or some one with seniority breathing down my neck. I still applied for the bedside on tele and med/surg units (nope didn't hear anything), but got a FLOOD of interest from home health and hospice agencies. There was even interest from a job doing evaluations and assessments for medically fragile children in foster care.
I was called by a company for an interview and I don't even remember that I had applied. It was a company that ran group homes and programs for developmentally disabled adults. I was offered the job on the spot and was allowed to take some time to think about it, which I did. I got a job offer and was hired.
The job is perfect for me. I am a case manager for 3 homes with 16 residents. I manage their medication orders, do quartet assessments and stay in communication with the doctor regarding their health needs. I can work from home as much as I'm able to and only need to visit homes for a few hours a week to do some charting that can't be done in my PJs from my living room. The staff have my number and call me whenever they need or have questions, which is fairly often but I don't mind.
I like the flexibility in managing my time my own way. I'm extremely autonomous and independent yet I am making a impact for my clients health and well being. I fit in well with the culture of the company and I'm learning and growing so much personally and professionally. And I'm happy. It's amazing what finding your niche can do.
I really thought my career was dead. It seems like it should have been. Perhaps there is someone Up There who was watching out for me. But it IS possible to success as a nurse, and a HAPPY one despite what may seem like insurmountable obstacles. My advice for anyone needed to hear a success story? NEVER GIVE UP.