I just found this site and am really enjoying it. Who knew there was a site like this for nurses? I have been a nurse (LVN/RN/PNP) since 1980 and have only recently begun reflecting on my many years in our profession.
I started my career in an ADN program in the local junior college in the city I grew up in in West Texas. I was an LVN for a year then returned to school for a year and became an RN. My original career goal was to be an L&D nurse--I thought it was the coolest job ever since the nurses had a lot of responsibility and you were able to share one of the true miracles of life with others. Plus, they didn't make you wear the cap and the white hose (yes, it was THAT long ago:p). I was a bit of a rebel in nursing school but made it through...
Anyway, clutching my GVN permit I applied at the local hospital and stated I wanted to work in L&D. The DON (a 50 something woman in a starched uniform and cap chain smoking Marlboros) looked at me and said, Mary, where I really need someone right now is on pediatrics. If you will work pedi for 6 months then I will put you in the L&D orientation. I was devastated---PEDIATRICS---I hated pediatrics in school and the students never got to do ANYTHING other than look at the kids in the oxygen tents and maybe take their temperature. But, my 22 year old self smiled and agreed. I was assigned 3-11 on a 32 bed pediatric floor and started in January. I was scared to death but went to work and was really overwhelmed for the first few months. This was back in the days before HIB vaccine and we would do 5-10 spinal taps PER DAY and it was just exhausting work. However, the peds docs were really cool and I had some great mentors...fast forward, six months later I was offered a spot in the L&D orientation and turned it down cuz I couldn't bear the thought of leaving the pediatric floor.
Back to school as a RN student a few months later and still worked part time. My coworkers were so supportive--let me start IV's and hang blood, etc. to the point that when I got my GN permit I was the charge nurse on the night shift. Lots of ups and downs in the next couple of years--lost a couple of chronically ill kids (CF and Hirschsprung's) that I was REALLY close to and learned alot about nursing and myself.
Then, enter MR RIGHT :heartbeat:heartbeat who convinced me to move to the big city (Dallas) with him and off I went to the Children's Hospital there with a brand new job in the PICU. OMG, it was worse than nursing school....it was like watching ER on TV. I felt so stupid and inexperienced but hung in and stayed there 6 years. Learned how to care for heart and liver transplants as well as siamese twins as well as more common patients.
Decided at that point to return for my BSN due to rumors (in the mid-80's) that it would be hard to find a job without a BSN While there, got lucky and was invited to apply to grad school and became a PNP in 1990. Still worked in the PICU part time during this and did lots of my preceptorship in the hospital where I worked and at Parkland.
Have worked a variety of PNP jobs (hospital specialty clinic, low income clinic, private practice) and have truly enjoyed my adult work life as a nurse.
Reading this forum fascinates me--so much has changed. For all you newbies working on (or considering) nursing for a career--it is what you make it and I can not think of another job more rewarding or important.
Sorry for the long post, I just got started and couldn't stop:bow: