I obtained my LPN degree in 2002 at my local community college. Of course the program wasn't laddered so me being the 21 year old I was, decided to have 'fun' and chased the dollar signs from my hospital ER tech job to the local LTC facilities. Eventually I met my husband who is an engineer and works Monday-Friday and I became fixated with finding a Monday-Friday job too. I landed a position with our local school district doing CNA training. The schedule was AMAZING, but the position itself was not challenging and it wasn't long before I realized I needed to return to school for my RN. I opted to do Excelsior's transition program so I could maintain my employment. I eventually chose to leave my laid back job at the school to finish up some pre-requisitions in person. Fortunately, my LTC company hired me back and I went into staffing resources until I completed my RN degree in March of last year. (yes, it took FOREVER!) I was incredibly anxious to get out of the LTC floor setting and when a per diem Intake position became open for an LPN/RN, I opted to cross-train to the position. What a flipping mistake! Yes, the $8/hr increase in my rate of pay was nice once I got that magical RN license, but holy cow have I doomed myself as a nurse. There is no critical thinking, no clinical assessment needed and each day I am finding myself farther away from feeling like a nurse. It is all about insurance benefits, scheduling appointments and taking information. I swear a robot could do it! I knew this was happening and interviewed as much as possible and made several attempts to get into the hospital. Of course the hospitals in my area have all gone BSN's and with several local colleges cranking them out, the field has been flooded. I finally had a recruiter helping me in March and I ended up pregnant with our first child. I was too nervous to proceed with the recruiter since I had no idea what pregnancy would do to me and am thankful I made that decision as I was incredibly sick for months. Since then, the hospitals have gotten even more strict with only accepting applications for BSN's and being almost 7 months pregnant, looking for a job is nearly impossible. I know I cannot be discriminated against, but whatever, it happens.My current LTC company also provides home care and hospice services. When a vacant position opens up I am told I'm not qualified because I don't have recent acute care experiences. I can tell you it's very frustrating being with a company that is not supportive of my professional growth. My HR person always tells me that I am more than welcome to apply for the position, but anyone with recent hospital experience will be looked at first. Do yourselves a favor if you're a new grad - get whatever hands on and clinical experience you can! I have always proceeded with caution when it has come to my license and it's just sad that responsible people are not given the opportunity to prove themselves within well established organizations. Had I taken a position with an agency that provided me with minimal training to go and do things like trach/vents and whatever they have you do, I'd be in a much better position. I'm not sure if this is meant to help anyone specifically or not! Feeling quite down after reflecting on my 1st year as an RN. Thankful that I'm working, but it's quite saddening to me that it's not helping me become the nurse I want to be. Sometimes chasing the 'cushion' jobs don't help you get farther ahead in life!