Okay, to put it simply, I am BEGGING you for ideas, and am willing to listen to anyone who has a moment to suggest something to help.
I am absolutely, positively miserable. We moved to Orlando a year ago and I hate it.
Hate the city (for various reasons: no personality, same chain stores and restaurants on every corner, too many suburbs spread out too far, housing SUCKS and is COMPLETELY overpriced for my salary, just as hot as where we came from AND it rains OFTEN and gets muggy and gross, not close enough to the beach to make up for it, etc.).
Hate the hospital (for various reasons: horrid management who doesn't give a crap about ANY complaint, staff hates their jobs and are bitter and rude and it shows in their work and spend all shift complaining about how horrible it is but are too beaten down to do anything, care for the babies suffers because of these and other reasons, docs don't agree with each other and this causes babies to "suffer" as a result, pay is PATHETIC at 19-21/hr for 4-6 years of experience, work you to death and give you babies who should be 1:1 or 2:1 on a 3 baby assignment, training is a joke- every nurse does her own thing and, again, overall quality suffers- I'm trying to be DIPLOMATIC here, if you know what I mean- etc. etc. etc. Dirty unit, cluttered, no one CARES, staff says nothing has changed in 20 years, yadayadayada, people call in sick all the time and no one does a thing about it but complain, travel nurses say the hospital is the worst they've EVER been in, they're risking their licenses, not coming back, etc.etc.).
I need your help. I just am beside myself. I have been trying to make this work, but, aside from meeting a couple of really nice co-workers, the rest is terrible and I can't do it anymore. I LOVE working in the NICU, lovelovelove it. I would, however, as a last resort, move to something else (and trust me, I REALLY DON'T WANT TO DO THAT; it's move to something else or quit nursing altogether- my absolute last two choices).
I had a dream, which I thought would be fairly simple, given determination and hard work, to make come true. All I wanted was a nice place to live- nice town, small or large, whatever- some place with pride and personality and not just another series of Old Navy's and Wal-Mart's and just some generic "You Could Be Anywhere" town. Or at least, a nice "neighborhood" that is part of a bigger city or something. City, country, I didn't care- I'd make it work. Somewhere we could actually afford to buy a house or condo/apt within reasonable driving distance to the hospital. A tiny yard so our dog had room to run, or nice park nearby, perhaps an extra room for a child later on, some sort of family (which we've hoped for but haven't physically been able to produce, unfortunately).
I really, really wanted to find a nice hospital/unit. One that I could really make a difference on, one that did things that were actually good for the babies, one that strove to improve developmentally, one that appreciated its hardworking staff, one that I could settle in to and make friends and not have to job hop all over the place. ONE WITH PAY THAT ACTUALLY LET YOU AFFORD TO LIVE THERE, instead of Orlando, which pays you 20+/- bucks an hour but in which, for example, a one bedroom apartment in a ten year old building that got new siding and a new name and sign was now going for $200K. Or if you want to buy a new/slightly newer home in a decent area you wouldn't have to pay $240K for generic looking stuccoed crap with no yard and a zero lot line with your windows two feet away from your neighbor's windows and some ridiculous homeowner's association charging you $300 a month to tell you that your lawn is the wrong kind of seed and you'll have to redo it or be fined some more. There is so much wrong with this place.
Tell me, someone, tell me that you've seen something better. Are you there now? Did you have to move but were heartbroken? Is this possible? I know, I just know, deep in my heart, that we can't all be living like this. I am willing to move ANYWHERE to make this happen. The country is big, and I've barely seen any of it. Hubby is ready to pack up and drive us out of here, if we could only figure out where to go.
I used to moderate this forum with Sandy, and I know that everyone here is super-helpful, and so I am asking you to please let me know, if you happen to think of it: Where would you suggest? What have been your experiences? I'm desperate. Honest.