Thursday, May 1, 2014
29 years and counting
No, I'm now pretending that I'm 29, In fact I would not be 29 again if you paid me BIG money. The 29 I speak of refers to my years as a registered nurse.
I graduated in 1985 from Rapid City Regional Hospital School of Nursing. Good ol' RCRHSON. We were the very last class of that nursing school, a three year diploma program. This means I have neither my Associates Degree (2 year) nor my Bachelors Degree (3 year), I am somewhere in between.
Diploma nursing programs were very popular in the 60's, 70's but were phased out in the 80's which I believe was a bad thing. Diploma nurses got so much more. Not only did we get a large amount of lecture time we were blessed with many, many MANY hours of clinical time and our last semester we had to handle full patient loads 6-8 patients. None of this 1-2 patient mamby pamby stuff.
I am so one of those nurses. :)
Now, it's 29 years later. My first 3 years were on the brand new oncology unit at RCRH in South Dakota. After that I moved back to Illinois and worked a few months at Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington in their inpatient unit, when I saw an ad looking for a hospice director in Pontiac.
I had been out of nursing school just three years, had no management experience, had two young children but applied anyway.
I got the job.
The next eleven years were the hardest, most wonderful of all my years in nursing. I started out as the only hospice employee (SURPRISE!) but as patients were admitted staff was added, amazing staff who I will always treasure. When I left I was managing 55. I loved hospice but the hours required to do the job well meant much less time to do my job well as mother and wife. Serving two Gods is never a good idea.
I took a part time weekend job as staff RN at a small community hospital. My oldest children were on their way out of the house but my younger two were able to benefit from my increased hours at home. Well, I thought they benefited, they swear I was overbearing and controlling and think the older two had it made because I wasn't home so much. Oh well...
After 10 years working nights every weekend, developing another great relationship with even more amazing colleagues (who traveled with me to Ireland twice) I came home in 2010 to work on the farm full time.
A couple of days ago, I renewed my nursing license even though I haven't worked in a hospital in almost 4 years. Even though I have no plans to go back to nursing and have taken the road way less traveled by going back to college this fall for a degree in creative writing. Even though my daughter is an RN, a very capable ER certified RN, who has been practicing for 13 years and more than qualified to answer all our families medical questions the way I used to.
I guess I'm just waiting for next year to roll around...when I'll have been an RN for 30 years instead of just 29. Maybe then I'll be willing to let my license go "inactive." I like even numbers so much better than odd ones.