October 30, 2011


As I'm sure a lot of people know, the weather in coastal California is beautiful. Today is going to be sunny with a high in the upper 70s. Lows get into the 50s, maybe 40s. It's delicious weather, though it does mandate more frequent leg-shaving. Meanwhile, back where I used to live, it's 54/30 and sunny albeit soggy from a few days of rain. Where I grew up, they just got hit with a snowstorm.

While I am enjoying my current weather, I am missing the change in the seasons. Everyone says that there really aren't seasons out here. But I grew up with the seasons. I love the feeling when the weather starts turning cooler. I love when the leaves turn into fiery colors before they drop off. I love the smell of snow in the air. I love the snow itself even more. I love rain. I love being able to enjoy a freak warm day in the middle of the winter. I love the lazy days that the weather can force--or encourage--on one.

But seasons are not in my future for the next few years...oh well. Can't change that, can only accept what I have.

There are nice things about California weather, though. It's always a nice day to be outside. The nights get chilly enough that my knitting gets put to good use. I rarely have to worry about things being rained out. The weather is rarely grey and depressing, though there does tend to be stretches of foggy mornings where it's overcast until noon or so. And if I really want different weather I'm only an hour away from the mountains.

Need to clean out my car today. The little one tends to think of it as his own personal toy depository.

October 29, 2011


I lost 5 lb over the last three weeks. I've been making a serious effort about watching what I eat (I'm keeping an accurate food diary!) and I've been getting on the treadmill to run/walk three times a week. None of my clothing fit any better yet, but it's a nice feeling to know I've lost a little weight. Many more pounds to go...

I need to put that lost weight on my cat. She's dropped more weight, so much so that when I pick her up I feel individual rib bones. She eats with no problem and isn't in any distress...then again, she is 16. I should get her to the vet soon.

Applied to a few more per-diem psych positions. Waiting to see if they do call me back for that second interview. Studying for the certification exam. Same old, same old.

October 27, 2011

A little rant about trying to have it all ways

My better half can be very annoying at times.

He's in the service, going on 15 years. We've been together for nearly 17 years so I know the drill of how it works: basically I can't rely on his schedule for anything. I've known this for 15 years and accepted it, hence the going on 17 years.

However, he is convinced that even after all these years, I don't understand this concept, as any time I many any remark about his work hours I get the whole speech of how they're unreliable and can be longer and there's no promises and he has no say in them, etc., etc., etc., inc. I tell him that I understand that, and he continues to lecture me on and on...the man's a pro at beating dead horses.

So I look for childcare arrangements so I don't have to rely on him and his schedule...and I get resistance there too. Then it's the speech of how our son shouldn't be in childcare so much, he's there so late, he's with someone he doesn't really know, etc., etc., etc., inc. Again, dead horses beaten to death.

To add insult to injury, over the last several years I've seen lots of active-duty parents able to drop off/ and pick up their kids from school or daycare, as well as see them make arrangements to cover childcare in emergencies. Mine can't seem to be able (read: willing) to do it...yet if he needs to take his car to the garage or pick up something for himself, he has no problem is being able to get out early. Right now he's on shore duty so the hours are generally better, but yet he continues to throw up his hands in protest.

What my better half doesn't get is that nursing is not 9-5...at least not the nursing job I want. I could sit in some doctor's office--if I can find one that will hire a RN over a LVN or MA--but I wouldn't be happy. Nor does the better half understand that the plum shifts are not automatically handed out to new hires...guess he's forgotten all of the evenings and weekends I had to work at my last job before I was able to move to straight days with no weekends. If I want to be hired full-time evenings or nights, no problem: I can do that instantly...but he won't like what I have to do to make it happen, nor will he step up to plate to help out.

There's a history behind my drive to work that I won't go into here...suffice it to say that I decided a long time ago that not working is not an option for my well-being. So I'm deciding that I am going to make that happen and if I need to engage childcare to do it, then so be it. I won't go out of my way to get the world's worst hours, but if that's all I can get then that's what I'm going for.

And my better half will have to make a choice: if he doesn't like the idea of childcare than he needs to make changes to be there. If he is unwilling/unable to make that effort, he'll just have to accept it.

If that sounds selfish on my part...well, as a military spouse I've made a lot of sacrifices for him over the years. I have not asked for much over the years. A little support right now would be nice though.

October 26, 2011

The first interview in the new job hunt...

It actually went pretty well. What a difference from having to interview as a new grad a couple of years ago. I felt more confident in myself and my abilities and I knew what I was talking about. They seemed impressed with me, I think...at any rate, they spent almost 2 hours talking to me, showing me around, and introducing me to staff. Of course, a few patients came up to make their own introductions.

Then the dreaded "M" word came up...Magnet. Not having a BSN disqualifies me from a lead nurse position, though they did note that I was in school for my BSN. We addressed that early in the interview, so I'm reading that as I still have a shot. I explained my situation with my little one and we decided that PRN might be the best for me. And that's fine: the last PRN job evolved into a full-time position when I was ready for it to.

They have several different units, both inpatient and outpatient. Their higher functioning units aren't locked...I mean, the outside door is shut but the whole unit is not as restrictive as a unit at my last job was. I saw an open patio door and my first question upon entering was, "should that door be open?" My escort laughed.

They do have a locked unit...that felt like coming home :) They also have something that really caught my attention: medical psych. It's a unit with patients with both medical and psychiatric diagnoses. No telemetry or stepdown patients, but there's medical issues there. That appealed to me because that may help me scratch the med/surg itch that keeps rearing its head from time to time. It will also give me non-psych experience which will help me be more well-rounded when I decide to go back for psych CNS or NP.

They said that they want to bring me back in for another interview next week with the director and that they will call me. I'll just have to wait and see. I'm optimistic and think I have a really good chance, but I'm not calling off the job search just yet. In the meanwhile I've applied to a couple of other psych positions, and will start checking out the other major hospital chains. I'm also working on the portfolio.

I rescheduled my certification test to December 3rd. I decided to do it on a Saturday so I have the weekend to celebrate...or mourn. I made sure the interviewers knew I was planning to take that test...anything that can help the ADN along.

October 21, 2011

What a week

On Wednesday I got a call from a nurse manager who was forwarded my application. So what began as a day planned for doing laundry turned into a laundry day with a 20 minute phone interview. A formal interview is set up for next week, which gives me a few days to get my nursing portfolio in order and find something in my closet that I can still fit into...stupid weight gain. Meantime, I'm still brushing up the resume and getting cover letters ready. I found several (more than 10!) major hospital in my area and bookmarked all of their career websites. Starting on Monday I plan the attack.

Then my advisor from the RN-BSN program finally got in touch with me. Seems there was an error with something on one of my older transcripts but it is in the process of being ironed out and she will get my course plan to me as soon as it is updated, so I can begin. Of course, this was after I had contacted several other RN-BSN programs and one RN-MSN program for more information, as I was getting so frustrated with my current program that I was considering moving on. But now that my advisor is apparently alive, we'll see. I'd really rather stay in this program and I hope the communication (or lack thereof) issues were the rare exception and not the norm.

I've been eating better and because of that, I've been feeling better physically. Need to cut down on the wine a bit...I'm not excessively drinking at all--maybe a glass or two here and there--but it's not going to help my weight loss. I also got on the treadmill three times this week to do some serious walk/running. Strength training only happened one day and I'm STILL feeling the soreness from doing 10 jackknife crunches and 6 complete chest presses. Darn you, Wii Fit!

And as mentioned before, I set the date for my certification exam for December 1st. So my bedtime reading every night is one PMH review book or another.

Next week the little one goes back to school...thank goodness. I loved spending the extra time with him but I think I've hit my limit. Plus he really needs to get back into a regular routine, since he's been out of school for almost a month thanks to the move.

October 19, 2011

I set the date

I set the certification test date: December 1. I had a good feeling about that day, plus it gives me 6 weeks to study my head off. I'll be honest and say I wanted to do it ASAP, but after hearing lots of feedback about what the test was like, I decided that a comprehensive review was in order.

Today's job hunt task is working on cover letters. I also plan to get on the treadmill in a bit.

October 18, 2011


That nurse recruiter did write me back about the job I applied for. I filled out a qualifications screen and today received a reply that if I'm considered for the position that HR will contact me in 2 to 4 weeks for an interview; if I don't hear back then they like someone else's qualifications better. Not bad for a spur-of-the-moment application.

I think I have a good shot at being called for an interview; I meet most of the requirements for the job. The only things I'm lacking is the BSN preferred and Spanish-speaking preferred. But we shall wait and see. In the meantime I'm getting the resume in order and making a list of places to apply to. This hospital is not the only chain in town, fortunately...there's a few big hospital systems to choose, from plus governmental jobs, and--if I'm feeling particularly up for a long commute--a couple of facilities from the last hospital system I worked for. Though don't know if that would give me any advantage or preference in the hiring process.

I'm trying to figure out what the deal is with my RN-BSN program. It's a program that is 100% online, well-thought of and CCNE accredited, so I hesitate to drop it. At the same time, it's so frustrating trying to get someone who can give me answers on my status and enrolling. The administrative assistant in the office said that should would try to track down someone who can help me. This was yesterday. Nothing from her today. I'll probably skip tomorrow and drop her another line on Thursday--from how things are going so far, I need to keep prodding and poking to get them to remember me.

In the meanwhile, I'm knitting like crazy. I'm working on a shawl that I've been working on since nursing school and will hopefully finish by the end of the year. I've also got some socks fired up because I've found that despite this being California, it can get darn cold! The Reynaud's struck last night...a mild attack, fortunately. But it means I need more wool socks!

October 17, 2011

The job search begins...at least part-time

Today I start looking for that next job...at least on a part-time basis. The little one isn't in school yet due to the school having fall break until next week (I must get used to these year-round schools), and there's still a lot to be done around the house. So my efforts aren't going to be full-time just yet. This week I'll get the resume brushed up, find facilities to apply to, and get my RN-BSN program squared away. Once the little one is in school I'll step things up.

To be honest, I like being able to spend time with my little one. We're going to have a couple of outings this week. He's been dying to ride the tram system so we're going to plan a little trip somewhere for our train date.

The one thing I must do today is get that kitchen tackled from top to bottom, and get the extra packing boxes into the spare room, so at least the living room looks finished. While I'm a packrat at heart, even I can't stand this mess.

October 14, 2011

Still nothing has changed

The nurse recruiter never e-mailed me back :)

Neither has my RN-BSN advisor for that matter, which is making me wonder if I'm better off removing it from the resume right now, since I seem to be in this state of limbo as far as where I am in the program. At this point, I'm wondering if I'm even if the program since all they seem to be doing is studiously ignoring me--I mean, I'm officially admitted to the school and I was told I have a nursing program advisor, yet I don't seem to exist.

I am debating about either switching programs or scrapping the BSN and going straight for the MSN. The problem is finding an RN-BSN which is primarily online and which is NLNAC or CCNE accredited (as the program I'm currently in is). The other problem is that should I go straight for the MSN that will cost big bucks...which considering I don't have a job in CA yet, I should probably hold off on doing.

The job search will begin officially on Monday...at least on a part-time basis anyway since my son doesn't start school until the following week. Going on interviews with him in tow is probably not a good idea ;)

October 12, 2011

Some things haven't changed in the last two years

I still haven't started the job search in earnest yet, but out of idle curiosity, I called the number of my local hospital's nurse recruiter. Of course, I didn't get a human being: I got a recording that started off with "If you are a new grad, blah, blah..." with instructions to go to the hospital's website. And if you weren't a new graduate, you also got instructions to go to the website. Either way, there was no chance to leave a message...yet the website states that if you want more information in nursing careers at Hospital X to call the nurse recruiter.

So I shot them an e-mail because I'm curious to see how that will be handled :)

October 10, 2011

We are home, and the job hunt begins

We've been in the house since Wednesday. The basics are set up (read: utilities and the beds) and now it's a lot of unpacking and organizing. I'm currently taking an unpacking break to have some tea.

The trip across country has not been kind to my waistline...in fact, my weight is downright hideous. A lot of driving (no physical exertion involved in that!) and dining out has caught up with me. So as of yesterday we've forsaken eating out and have been eating in. I've given up diet soda and been drinking more water and herbal tea. I've been watching what I eat, both the types of food as well as the portion sizes. I'd like to say it's been working so far, but I seem to have put on 2 lb since then! I'm hoping it's just water weight. Once we get things organized in the house I'll start getting exercise in.


I applied for a job here--inpatient psych at the local hospital. It was a spur-of-the-moment application: I wasn't really ready to begin the job hunt in earnest, but the job itself sounded so perfect and exciting that I was swept up in the rush and so I did it. What a drastic difference from the first nursing job hunt two years ago! I have a detailed resume at the ready...and the resume actually has some meat to it. I've also got references in hand, both written and telephone. I've got certifications and memberships to back up my credibility. Last, I don't feel as hopeless as I did the first time. I feel more confident in both my interviewing and nursing abilities, and less desperate to grab anything that comes my way.

Last, looking for work gives me more motivation to get this certification exam scheduled and done with.

October 4, 2011

So the move to 2731 is completed

Well, almost. We're still living in the motel that we've been in for the last three days. Tomorrow we should get the keys to the house. In a few days after that our furniture and stuff should arrive. Next week I will get the little one enrolled in school. And then, perhaps then...I can start looking for that job.

I'm scheduling my certification exam for November. I had really wanted to tie it all up before I started the job hunt so I could add that extra RN-BC bullet to the resume, but I've got too much going on with setting up a new household from near-scratch. I can't stop and spend all that time studying. Besides, with the way the job market is, it may take so long to find something that I'll have that RN-BC bullet before I go on actual interviews.

I started making a list of the psych (and non-psych) facilities in the area. I really haven't done much more than that: my internet connections are so sketchy right now that I don't want to start an online job hunt that I can't keep up with. My printer is in storage so I can't print out the resume. And my interview clothing is in storage too...though I have been debating about making an investment into a suit for interviewing. I was smart enough to keep my RN portfolio with me during the trip so I have all my important paperwork. If I was truly smart, I should have printed out a few copies of an updated resume before we left. Oh well.

We should have internet in the house by Friday, so I can start doing more job-hunting work online. Worse comes to worse, I'll find an OfficeMax and bring them my resume on disk, and they can print out some copies for me.

Part of me keeps saying to relax and enjoy this time off, since Lord knows when I will have this opportunity again. My better half says that there's no rush for me to get back to work, because we really want to get the little one settled. He's been through a lot with this move, and then we have to get him set up in Special Ed once we arrive, so the better half would rather we (me and him since his new job will have him home more) focus on that. We've even talked about possibly having a second little one while we are here...but I'm neither one way nor the other on that one. There's plusses and minuses for each side...though I did tell my better half that it will only happen after I drop some weight and get to my pre-pregnancy weight because what I'm at right now is not good. That's only 30 lb.

The weather is beautiful...well, it rained today. Everyone said it doesn't really rain out here in California, and I'm here to say they are wrong. In fact, it rained as we crossed the border three days ago: we were driving through sand dunes and no vegetation whatsoever when the skies opened up and a deluge fell. Go fig.