Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In Which I Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse!

Something marvelous has happened. It's been so overwhelming that I haven't even known how to adequately express the events here on my blog, but I've wanted to. It's important that I do. 

Here's the background information: 

I graduated from nursing school on April 30. 

I took the NCLEX (licensing board exams) on July 2. I found out I passed them on July 4, making me, officially, a Registered Nurse. (wahoo!)

I spent two weeks putting together my resume with a few expert friends. 

Then I began my job hunt. 

My first choice was a hospital nearby where I did my 4th semester clinical rotations. My first choice unit was Labor and Delivery. I realized that getting my first choice of anything as a new grad was a pipe dream, but I submitted my application for their New Grad Program anyway, on July 24. It was the first application I submitted. 

I submitted many, many more. My goal was one per day. And as the days wore on into weeks and months, I felt very discouraged. Nobody was calling. Nobody wants new grads. Everyone I talked to said it takes about a year to get the first job. And it will probably be in a nursing home. 

I knew people at several hospitals, even in L&D at the hospital I wanted to work in. It didn't seem to be helping. There wasn't a position open for a new grad. 

But then, something miraculous happened. 

The hospital I love called me for an interview! They told me I'd been very highly recommended and that though they are in the market for experienced nurses, they take recommendations very seriously. They asked me what my first choice unit was and when I told the recruiter Labor and Delivery, she set up an interview with the entire Maternity team for the next week for me. (Oh, there are so many details I'm leaving out, but you can imagine the magnitude of this blessing!)

When I hung up the phone I was in absolute shock. I went to my knees to offer a tearful prayer of the utmost gratitude and humility. 

I have come to believe that it wasn't so much my first choice as it was God placing that desire within me because it was right for me. It was where I was supposed to be. I had just come to sync up with His will for me. And He opened a position for a new grad to be considered.

I called Adam with the unbelievable news. He immediately offered to bring me a celebratory Chick-fil-A lunch. 

This would be my very first interview. And it was a huge one. I really wanted to be prepared. I read possible questions and reviewed my nursing notes from L&D and read my textbook, and prayed. Adam took Conor out one day and came home with the most glorious roses and a card that read,

"During these next few days before your interview, I hope that every time you look at these flowers you can remember how beautiful you are. Love, Everyone Around You."

I bought some nice resume paper and printed up packets with my clinical rotations, references, certifications, and whatever else any nursing website said I should be prepared with.

I contacted each of my professors and asked if they'd be a reference for me. They were all so over-the-top excited and supportive of me.

I bought a new suit and pair of shoes for the interview.

I dropped the kids off at school on Thursday morning and drove over to the hospital. One of my shoes kept slipping off my heel (darned pantyhose!) so I went into the bathroom and stuffed the toe with toilet paper. I met the woman who had called me in Human Resources, and she walked me over to the Maternity Unit of the hospital. I was in a state of wonder at my blessings and good fortune. I kept thinking, "Look at me! I am officially a big girl!" and "What on earth is happening to me right now? It feels huge!" I felt jitters of excitement, and yet also this surreal calm that whispered that this job was already mine. It was already done. I was just going through necessary motions.

I sat in the room with the four directors and head nurses. I answered their questions the best that I could. I asked my own. The interview lasted for an hour and ten minutes.

When I left, the nerves were gone. Whatever will be, will be, I thought. If this is my job, then it is mine. I was told I'd hear by the next day.

And so, when the phone rang around 11:30 the next morning, and I heard the Director tell me that it had been the consensus of the team that I join them, I felt this peace wash through me. I was being offered not just a job, but my dream job in my top-choice hospital, as a new grad with no experience. It was the first job I'd applied for and the only one I'd interviewed for, and it didn't take a year. (In fact, the recruiter apologized to me and told me that she'd been supposed to call me a month and a half ago, but had been very distracted with some personal business, but that the Director just kept coming in and asking about me.) It doesn't matter. The timing is perfect. It is how it was meant to be. I needed the experiences I went through during that time.

When I hung up, there was another sobbing prayer of gratitude. Maybe it's hard for anyone to understand the journey I've been on making this dream a reality. I started taking classes 21 years ago, not knowing they would count towards this goal. Then I put my education aside while I birthed four children and spent my days being their mother and teacher. I made the decision to become a nurse 5 years ago and it was the hardest thing I've ever accomplished. I kept my promises to the Lord and He's kept His to me.

He always does.

New grads are not getting jobs. It's just the reality of the economic climate we're in. Most of my classmates do not have jobs. The few that do are not working in hospitals. It is really desperate drudgery combing those job sites day after day. I'm so grateful that I was lifted from that.

Adam is so proud of me. My children are so proud of me. We all feel so very blessed and happy that a new phase is beginning. My Facebook page was filled with posts of congratulations, love, and support. I feel like the luckiest woman alive right now. Or, at least the luckiest new grad nurse!

Adam took me to Outback to celebrate. It was one of the best times we've had together in a long time.

Now, I am a Labor and Delivery Nurse! Good things come to those who work super hard, and put their faith in God. I will do my best to be worthy of such fortune.

(I will have 12 weeks of training, beginning on Oct. 21st. Stay tuned!)


Andrea said...

So happy for you!!! That is awesome. That's one area I've thought about so I'd love to hear how things go.
What a huge blessing.

dcr said...


Anonymous said...

So, so happy for you!! Have followed your journey for years, and mine is very similar. You are an inspiration to me. I actually got teary reading this! Good luck! You will do great! The ladies who get you as their nurse are very lucky!

Anonymous said...

How exciting! Congratulations all your hard work has paid off! You will love your dream job


Anonymous said...

I don't know you but I am so happy and proud of you. Your testimony has truly touched me. It is great to have positive and spiritual people like you in this world. I have been considering a career in nursing myself. It seems like when you are trying to do what is right the enemy always want to try and throw negative things your way and discourage you, but I know a God who sits high and looks low. He is greater than any of our issues and problems. I hope and pray that God continues to bless you and your family. Thank you.