My journey through nursing began over a couple decades ago. After graduating with my Associates Degree, I started my hospital career in the Med Surg Unit. It gave the experience that was needed to go on to a variety of nursing fields. The day came when I needed to change shifts for family necessity, at which time I joined the float pool I totally enjoyed floating, as I gained experience in different areas such as post-partum, peds, and nursery as well as TCU. I spent most of my 17 years working in these various units, enjoying every minute of it. During this time, I had opportunities to mentor newer nurses and to be a resource to others on the floor as my varied experience became useful, especially for the float nurses or for students coming through. Even some of the regular floor nurses appreciated the experience that I brought with me.
The day came when I needed to leave the hospital bedside nursing. I went into school nursing, which was great, but coming from the pay structure of the hospital, especially with several years of experience, into community nursing was a huge shock to my checkbook. In addition to school nursing, I went into home health care. I ended up leaving school nursing due to financial needs. Within a couple years, I went into hospice. I originally could not see myself as a hospice nurse, but was persuaded by others around me that I would make a great hospice nurse. After giving it a try, I found that I enjoyed being able to provide comfort, not only to the patient, but to the family as they were dealing with the grieving process.
During this time, I went back to college to complete my Bachelors and Masters degrees. I then looked for additional ways to utilize my varied experience. I decided that it was time to pass this information on to the next generation and went into teaching nursing. I ended up teaching in a VN program where I learned so many things about what goes into creating a program to train future nurses and became one of the leaders in this school of nursing. I have even had the opportunity to contribute to one of the text books for nursing. Though I thought this would be where I would stay for a good amount of time, sometimes things happen and our plans change.
Now, I am working for a staffing company. I supervise/ train nurses to go out into the field to care for their patients. Some of these nurses work in the health office at a school. They administer routine medications and assist the students with diabetes management in addition to first aid procedures as needed. If they are credentialed, I may be training them regarding competing and IHP or participating in the IEP/504 committees.
I also train other nurses to care for the individual student with complicated health concerns that require the services of a nurse throughout the day. This may be a student on a ventilator requiring full nursing services or the student requiring nutritional support and possibly Oxygen. Some days I may be in the office, working on paperwork needs or training, while other days I may visit the schools to ensure the nurses are comfortable with their work and that things are going well with the students. Additionally, I will assist with district nurse needs or sub for a district school nurse.
One of the things I enjoy most is that I have opportunities to disseminate information to various districts and in so doing, help to ensure that all are on the same page with the provision of care to the students in that school/ school district.
I have enjoyed every aspect of my nursing career.