What brought you to where you are now?

  1. Just curious how we all ended up here. I am sure we all have some interesting stories

    I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, for as long as I can remember. I applied to nursing school right out of high school and got my BSN at Boston College. I really wanted to work in Mother/Baby, but that was impossible as a new grad. I ended up working at an inner-city pediatric and maternal health clinic and was hired as the Pediatric Program Manager. LOVED my four years there, but got the itch to do more, so I left to attend NYU for a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. Graduated from there and worked as a PNP and Nurse Manager in an outpatient pediatric unit at a major city hospital. LOVED that as well, but my husband had to do a fellowship for his medical specialty, so we moved and I had my two kids. I ended up staying home until my younger one was 5. I was asked to work at a Summer day camp in our town for three Summers in a row and I really enjoyed that. I looked into school nursing in the district where I live and was told that basically one of the current nurses has to die or retire for a job to open, LOL. I ended up finding out about my current job (in year four now) from a parent who was in their HR office and was recruiting for the school nurse. So here I am. I love my kids, the teachers, etc. The regional admin politics and red tape are starting to get old, so I am considering subbing next year. I guess we will see what happens.
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    Joined: Sep '16; Posts: 992; Likes: 2,796


  3. by   LikeTheDeadSea
    Went to a full-length summer camp as my first nursing job. Got a job in a school right after, figured I would do it for a year to get my "one year experience" every hospital wants in my area before they even let you submit your application if you don't have a BSN. I liked the camp, so had this idea of doing it for 2 summers and then transition to Hospital life. Well, I loved school nursing so much that I rearranged a few aspects of my life to pursue it for the long-haul. I lucked out on all the places I've worked and been. (Since the start I've done a handful of school nurse positions and have settled in the one I want to retire from in 30 years, ahah)

    Basically, the most beautiful of accidents.
  4. by   k1p1ssk
    Love this!
    I was originally going to be a marine biologist, but decided that a life of writing academic study papers while on a boat was not for me. I had never even considered a career in the medical field until my cousin had her first baby and I visited her in the hospital. I became interested in midwifery and after seeing The Business of Being Born, I was CONVINCED that was my calling. I immediately started researching what went into becoming a CNM and immediately enrolled in pre-reqs for an ADN program. I got in to nursing school and made sure that my BSN pre-reqs would also all be satisfied by the time I graduated, so I could bridge and be done with my BSN within a year of getting my license. As luck would have it, my OB rotation was TERRIBLE and Pedi was wonderful, so I switched my track to thinking I would work in peds.

    I began looking for RN jobs immediately after getting my license, but the market was unforgiving for ADNs without prior medical experience in my area. I slogged through an entire year working retail with my RN license, which was really hard. I even candy-striped in an ED, hoping to get my foot in the door, which did nothing. Eventually, I took a "health officer" job that paid $12/hour at a summer camp and really hated it, but since I thought it was similar enough to school nursing, I decided to do some per-diem work close to home. After a lot of training days, and the nurse leader giving me a lot of encouragement, I started thinking about it seriously as a career, but there were no openings in my area, and my lack of acute care experience would have made it very hard to get a job.
    I decided I needed to make a change, as I had applied to over 300 positions (inpatient, outpatient, rehab, LTC, you name it, I applied for it) within a 90minute radius and never so much as got a call back on any of them, just an awful lot of rejection letters. I ended up moving 3 1/2 hours away for a full time position on a sub-acute rehab unit, which sounds crazy, but it worked. I left when my wedding was imminent and immediately had no problem getting interviews of all kinds, and chose to do per-diem work in a local LTC, the schools again, as well as a part-time gig as the after-school nurse and part-time at a local private school. About 8months later, I landed a FT job at a private pediatrician's office. By then I knew I wanted to be a school nurse, but felt really strongly that I should get a good pedi-foundation under my feet. I worked at the pedi office for 18months until I got really bored and took a FT position at the local children's hospital, where I worked on the acute care floor and got great experience between that and floating to the NICU, PICU, and Adolescent units. After night shift started to kill me slowly, I transferred to their outpatient specialty center and worked as the nurse care-coordinator in the Developmental Medicine dept.

    When my current job popped up, I knew I was ready and jumped on it. Positions in the smaller, well-supported schools are hard to come by (I second the retire/die sentiment above... its true in good schools!) and even though I still commute over 30minutes to work, I couldn't be happier!
  5. by   kidzcare
    I got divorced. That was the start of my interest in school nursing. I was moving my kids and myself into my parents' home and I was calling the elementary school to register my daughter. I was on their website when I was on hold and while making chit-chat, I said "I see you're looking for a nurse. I'm a nurse" and the secretary encouraged me to apply, even transferred me to the nurse who was leaving to try to sell me on it. I looked up their contracts online and thought "NOPE, there is no way I can take that kind of pay cut"

    Few months later, I was working 3-11, barely seeing my kids and my parents were doing the majority of the "parenting" tasks for my kids (putting them to bed, homework, eating dinner together) and it was driving me nuts. I wanted to be with my kids more often. Plus I was thinking about when I moved out since I knew we would not live with my parents indefinitely. I was looking for first shift jobs and then I was thinking about how the cost of childcare in the summer would be insane (the kids were 6, 3, and 3 then). So I started looking at school nurse jobs. Found one, applied, and got it. Kept my other job at a SNF part time because the pay cut was so drastic.

    Few years later, decided to become certified in school nursing (only way to make decent money in school nursing in IL). Finished that a year and a half ago. Two years ago, I began thinking about what I could do with my kids in the summer so they wouldn't get stir crazy or look at screens all day... posted a resume on a camp nurse website and found an awesome camp that offered me a job. Now we spend a month at camp in the summer and my kids LOVE IT. No exaggeration when I say at least one of them mentions camp every single day. Without the school nurse job, there is no way we would be able to do that. It is BY FAR the thing I am proudest to give my kids.
  6. by   AdobeRN
    Always wanted to be a nurse from a very young age. Attempted college right after high school but didn't really have my act together - then got married, had kids and life got in the way. When my youngest started Kinder I went back to school PT in the evenings, around the same time my husband was laid off from a job - we took a position running a self storage business, we lived onsite rent free with a small salary and we decided I would go back to school FT - nursing seemed like the logical choice since I had an interest in it and it would be something that wouldn't take long and I could make good money when I finished.

    I did a LVN program, finished and turned around the next semester and entered LVN-RN bridge program. As an LVN I worked at the county Jail for a bit - hated it, moved onto an urgent care facility - really liked that type of nursing but the doctor that ran the place was really difficult to work for, switched to Pedi home health during LVN-RN bridge program. After graduating from bridge program I was able to get a job right away on pedi floor in a hospital did that for a few years and the same time I would pick up a day here or there subbing at my kids schools. I really enjoyed the school nursing - after about a year of subbing I reached out to the nursing coordinator about FT employment - about 6 months after that she called me out of the blue and offered a PT position - I took it and here I am 8 years later, FT at my own campus.
  7. by   nmr79
    I knew I wanted to be a nurse all along, and got my BSN at 22.
    I loved my community, peds and psych rotations, so I figured I'd eventually be in one of those areas, but realized that I probably needed med-surge experience before anyone would hire me.
    I lasted about 6 months in general med-surge unit before transferring to a migraine headache unit (within the same hospital). I lasted there about a year, then went into geriatrics (it was a geriatric psych unit, but it was mostly medical patients who were old and combative-- I really liked it, the elderly folks have a special place in my heart. I hated my supervisor, though, so I then took a job in the ED.

    I liked the ED, but since I had psych experience, they had me work as kind of a triage person for any police drops or any aggressive or high/drunk patients. I didn't mind it, but it was overnight hours, and I was getting married and missed seeing friends and family. From there, I took an evening shift position in a psychiatric hospital, and worked both adolescent and adult psych. I liked both a lot, and I actually really liked the 3-11 shift. However, I still didn't get to see my family or friends much, so I took an outpatient job.
    I worked in a clinic where I loved the patients, but really didn't like my commute, and there was a miserable nurse I shared space with. We saw a little bit of everything, all ages and conditions. I stayed there for years, though, because the hours were family -friendly. I had my daughter and went back to that same job after maternity leave. I stuck it out for a few more years, and decided that it wasn't worth driving to the city every day to be miserable.

    I found a small adolescent psych unit at a hospital near my home and was there for 2 years. I loved it, but by that point, my daughter was in school for full days, so I almost never got to see her, since I was working 3-11. There were no daytime positions open, and I was tired of working weekends. I happened to see that there was an opening in my local district for a middle school nurse position. My daughter will eventually go here. I am less than a mile from home and have the same schedule as my kiddo. It pays 12 dollars an hour less than my last hospital job, so I kept PRN hours at my previous hospital gig, working a few shifts a month until I had socked away enough to make this work. Now I'm only here at the school, and my daughter is 9. I love it here. I work the local summer camp, which my daughter gets to come to with me. It's 4 hours a day, and pays about the same as I make during the school year, so it's pretty awesome. I don't see myself leaving anytime soon, unless an elementary position becomes available in the district. (I'd love to work with the littles, they're so cute at camp).
  8. by   BiscuitRN
    I went to nursing school thinking I'd be a surgical nurse and then a nurse anesthetist. But then I fainted during my first surgical observation in nursing school so I gave up on that dream. I did a med surg externship and loved it, but when I was actually working (at a different, larger hospital) as a nurse I wasn't loving it. I wanted something completely different, so I joined a really awesome program that trained new grad (or new-ish grads) to work in private duty/home health with adults and children on ventilators. I asked to be placed with adults, but they decided that I'm too petite to reposition adults on my own so they stuck me with all children. I was peeved at first, but I ended up loving working with the kids. It was a great experience working on my own and problem solving with a little assistance from our nurse managers. I loved it, but there were a few pediatric deaths that were very hard on me...I still think about those kids every day. I spent so much time working with them and getting to know their families. I knew they were sickly children, but it didn't make their deaths any easier.

    After 2 years I decided to look around for something new that would be a little easier on me mentally. I applied to a few different areas and got a call back for a school nurse position at a local private school. I interviewed and shadowed the nurse for two days. It's my second year here. I'm hoping to get certified soon (also in Illinois) but I don't think my school will be very cooperative, so I may leave after next year to sub for a year while getting certified. I'm not sure where I'm going quite yet...but I'm only 26 so I've got some time to test out a little bit of everything.
  9. by   EnoughWithTheIce
    I was originally a medical assistant at an OB/Gyn office for 7 years. Decided I really wanted to be an L&D nurse so (at age of 30) went to nursing school. Got to my OB clinical rotation and just felt it wasn't for me and I thought to myself "oh ****"!!! I mean it was hard to get and stay in the nursing program, couldn't back my butt out now so I kept trudging along. The only rotation I enjoyed was community health in which I was at a school. So, I graduated got a job in adult med/surg and HATED IT and the hospital. Felt like puking before every shift. So, I quit after about a year when I got pregnant with my 2nd child. Opened the newspaper, saw an ad (in October) looking for school nurses. 13 years later, still at it!!!
  10. by   TinyDancer01
    I graduated with my BSN (thanks to my aunt who was a nurse telling me to get it done and I would never regret it and would want/need it some day and she was right). I started on a horrible toxic med-surg unit where the older nurses found it fun to set me up (literally lie to me on how things were done) to get me trouble. So I started floating and doing a little home health to try that out. When a L&D position came available I jumped on it because that was what I wanted all along. I worked days/evenings and rarely had a day off and was forced to work over more shifts than not and just by chance (I wasn't even looking) a friend of my mom's saw us out one day and found out I had a BSN and encouraged me to apply for an opening. I've been with the same district ever since. I also took a leave of absence to stay home with my babies for a while. We have over 30 schools. I was able to work full time, part time, and prn depending on my needs. My husband worked shift work so it worked out great. I did go back to the hospital for a year to med-surg because I missed it. I stayed there a year while I continued to sub. I debated staying but the physical exhaustion and short staffing got the better of me. I'm considering trying OB again but something keeps holding me back. I have a great schedule, little stress most days, fun job-oh yeah that's probably it! Haha
  11. by   OldDude
    Quote from kidzcare
    ... No exaggeration when I say at least one of them mentions camp every single day. Without the school nurse job, there is no way we would be able to do that. It is BY FAR the thing I am proudest to give my kids.
    And they'll be regaling their kids, and grandkids, with those same stories of "the olden days." Good, kidz, real good!
  12. by   kidzcare
    Quote from OldDude
    And they'll be regaling their kids, and grandkids, with those same stories of "the olden days." Good, kidz, real good!
    Thank you OD. I still remember you commenting (either here or on FB) to my announcement about accepting the camp job that they would build memories that would last a lifetime. I didn't realize then how right you were!
  13. by   catsmeow1972
    Where am I now....on a break from nursing ...Not to be Debbie downer folks but I am an example of what happens when you expend everything you have taking care of everyone else and fail to take care of yourself. I spent my 20s doing a series of as I like to call them 'jobs with a small j.' Decent honest jobs, just not with a career path and things where I got bored easily. At age 30 I landed in the basement of a large teaching hospital schlepping supplies and putting together instrument pans for surgery. I enrolled in a surgical tech program, developed a love for the blood and guts of the OR and was off and running. I didn't stop for 13 years until I had that CST then then RN then the CNOR then the BSN....then my physical health took a dirt dive and my mental health with it, because I failed to pay attention to my own care. All of that together has led me to a point where I am unable to work in the field I love for the time being. I will get back because like the rest of us, I found this field, wether intentionally or on purpose and fell in love with the ability to do for others.
    To quote a cliche...you can't be there to take care of others if you don't take care of your self.....
  14. by   MHDNURSE
    Quote from kidzcare
    Thank you OD. I still remember you commenting (either here or on FB) to my announcement about accepting the camp job that they would build memories that would last a lifetime. I didn't realize then how right you were!
    Both of my kids have been going to overnight camp for the past 5 Summers. They LOVE those three weeks away from us and with an entirely different "family". My son is 13 and has been travelling around to attend the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs of all of his bunkmates and friends this year. They truly have priceless relationships.