July 12, 2010

I'm not a new grad anymore

I bounced back on my second assessment test with a 100%.  I took it seriously this time around, and it showed.  My overall grade is back in the 90s, and an A may still even be possible provided I can pull off a couple of small miracles.  I've still got one more test and the Head-to-Toe assessment to get through.  Having taken assessment once before during the ADN has helped me, but I'm learning a lot of additional stuff this time around that I didn't pick up on the first time, probably from lack of time, experience and (sorry, Former Instructor X) teaching expertise.  Even though it's been a struggle at times, I'm thoroughly enjoying the class.

And as the title says, oh yeah:  I'm officially not a new grad anymore.  One year ago this month I was licensed and started volunteering.  I suppose if you want to be technical, you could argue that next month is my anniversary because that's when I became meaningfully employed (read:  paid) as a nurse.  But I count from this month as I wasn't sitting around the city clinic handing out magazines or checking people in--I was doing actual nursing.

For a moment, I thought I should do as every other person who finishes their first year does on blogs and forums and write some long, introspective post about everything I learned.  I’d go on about how I excelled during the first year, glossing over the bad stuff and basically making myself look like Supergrad who everyone loves, then proselytize to the next generation about what to do and not do, and last bask in all of the "Congratulations!" postings to follow. 

Nah. 

I'm far from Supergrad.  I'm just a regular person who hasn't fucked-up...at least, not on a major scale.  Growth made, lessons learned, sailing not always smooth (still isn't always, actually), doctors do listen to me when I say something, and I do teach the new grads at my place what I know and offer guidance (which is ultimately up to them to use or disregard).  I've come a long way since day 1 and I know it--that's all the congratulations I need.  Still have a long way to go...as it should be.

To be honest, I think less about what I’ve done over the past year and more about the next year...as in what my goals and plans for the next year are.  Now that I have that magic year's experience, I'm probably not going to jump ship at my current place of employment.  For the grief it can give me, it's a good place overall and they do treat me well.  I'll be there for a while...though I may pick up a per diem job one day a week at another facility just to get more exposure.  I'll keep chugging along in school--I won't have the BSN for a couple of years, but I'll be making progress.  I'm looking at getting certification at the end of year 2, so I'll be aiming for that:  working on CEUs, floating to other units for more experiences, and studying for that test.  And since I survived one year in psychiatric nursing and still love it, I'll probably go join the APNA.

I will even admit that the thought of school past the BSN has crossed my mind.  Originally I was going to stop at the ADN and do the BSN a few years later.  That didn't happen.  But then I was going to stop at the BSN that was it on being a student.  Now I'm wondering about whether a masters' or NP is something I want to pursue.  Go fig.

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