May 13, 2012

In which Meriwhen starts worrying about things that are 2+ years off...

A bit of nostalgia last night caused me to look at job listings back East.  After all, I want to see what's waiting for me if/when we return there.  And not much is waiting there.  The psychiatric nursing market in our last place of residence isn't great.  For medical nurses, it is fantastic...in fact, it was a real turn-around from what I started my new grad job hunt a few years ago.  Most of the postings had experience as preferred and not required, and only a few were anti-new grad.

For psychiatric nurses, not so many pickings.

Number 1 hospital from way back when still has the best psychiatric nursing job offerings but they've gotten tougher to get into.  One of the best places to work at as a psychiatric nurse seems to prefer hiring agency nurses; while that means it may be easier to get in there, I lose the chance to rack up a pension.  I could always return to the hospital where I cut my teeth as a new grad, but from what I hear on the grapevine, that's a ship that's sinking fast.

So I started having an anxiety attack over not being able to find a psych job and whether I should switch to a medical specialty, and then how would I able to switch to a medical specialty.  But I was good.  I recognized that I was having an anxiety attack, pulled myself off of the computer, and had a serious talking-to with myself about it.

I am getting worried over a job market that hasn't happened yet...in fact, who knows what it will be like in 2 years?  Maybe there will be a lot more psych nursing jobs.  Maybe the sinking ship will have fixed itself.   Maybe the market will really improve and nurse recruiters will be willing to work with me more than they did when I was a new grad.

Who says we'll be going back there in 2 years?  It's not guaranteed...the other half is still active duty and has at least one more tour to go.  We may end up back there, we may end up staying here, we may end up somewhere entirely different.

And speaking of which, even after the better half retires from service, we may not even decide to settle back where we were.  There's no strong attachment to the area...I mean, I do have friends there but there's no family, nor are there strong emotional attachments to the area itself.  In fact, we've talked about living in other areas since he said where we settle will depend on where my job takes us.  We both really loved Texas, especially South Texas, and would go back in a heartbeat.  The Pacific Northwest has also held appeal for us too.

I'm building an excellent resume.  I have loads of inpatient work, outpatient work and specialty certifications to add to it.  I plan to get some volunteer work in there.   More importantly, I'm enjoying where I am working out here--both places.  I could easily stay at both of them for the next two years, or switch things up.

About the medical itch...yes, part of me thinks a year of medical nursing experience would be invaluable towards the MSN/DNP.   But I still don't want to work medical for the rest of my life, especially when I return east and lose the protection of staffing ratios.  Plus I hear too many horror stories about medical/hospital nursing that make me glad I'm in psych, where I'm not a glorified skivvy (waitress) inserting tubes and dealing with entitled family members,  but where I feel I'm actually making a difference in a patient's life.  Granted, with the high rate of relapse and return to treatment I have to make that difference several times...but it's better than being the slave to the call bell.  "Nurse, I want another pillow and my boyfriend wants a cold drink."

And as I've learned out here, working for an agency isn't bad at all.  It's actually rather nice.  And not having a pension isn't the end of the world...I've been working on my own IRA and retirement portfolio since 2001.  The better half will have his pension, which will help me to build my own, since I won't be the only one bringing in the income when he retires.  I can keep saving and planning for my financial future.  So I won't exactly have nothing when I retire from working.

I think the fact that my BSN completion was pushed back though my own stupidity (I didn't realize I needed to register for the politics class in January even though it didn't begin until April, so I missed my chance to take it), helped exacerbate this panic attack.  I just want this degree over and done with.   I was playing with my course map and have managed to improve things so I finish in May instead of March.  Two months longer...*sigh*...still things could have been worse.  Some of my course maps had me finishing in October 2013.

So I calmed myself down and put things in perspective.  My old therapist would have been proud of me.

I put my two nursing classes to bed yesterday--as of right now I have one guaranteed A and one probable A.  So now I can enjoy a couple of weeks before the two politics classes begin in June.  And all weekend the better half and little one have been spoiling me for the holiday.  It's been nice.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.  If you consider yourself a mom in any way, shape or form, this day's for you!

1 comment:

Kolohe said...

If you want anyone to sing praises about the Pacific Northwest, I'm your man! ;-)

Good job on recognizing the anxiety attack. My grandma would have told you, "let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day." <3