I'm not sure how many of you know this, but I am an Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Sounds fancy doesnt it? It just means that I can work with adults in an acute care setting. I graduated from grad school six months before we moved to Germany. I passed my boards just three months before we arrived here. I never had the opportunity to practice while we were in the States. Now it looks like I might never have the opportunity to practice at all....
After high school, I went to college with the intent of becoming an occupational therapist. I had done some summer internships at our local hospital and really loved working in OT. I chose the school with the best OT program in our state and off I went.
Once I arrived though, I began doing research on other majors, other careers. I dont remember why, but ultimately, I changed my major to nursing with the purpose of becoming a nurse anesthetist. I wanted to make a lot of money, but not have to work too hard to do it. (Admirable, I know.) I guess OTs just didnt make enough money, plus I wanted to go out of state for grad school and the locations of CRNA schools was highly appealing to me. I loved working in the operating room, so I thought becoming a CRNA would be a good fit for me.
So I switched to nursing and loved/hated every minute of it. I found nursing school to be easy in that the skills came pretty easily to me. I felt like I was born to be in the medical profession. I truly love helping people, having all the right answers and seeing my advice and skills make a difference in someone's life.
Somewhere along the way though, I realized that nurse anesthesia wasnt for me. I wasnt that person. Money wasnt going to make me happy if I was bored with the job. I was already too far into my major to change it again, so I decided to push on and become a nurse practitioner. Nurses have a remarkably high level of job opportunities and can do anything from work in a hospital, clinic or school to teach, manage or direct. I knew if I became an NP, I would have lots of opportunities for a career, and, big money or not, I would be happy. My end desire was to teach grad school.
I put in my time after college at a large local hospital's surgical intensive care unit, a job I loved to hate. I can say now that it was a great experience, but one I am very happy to have over with. I applied to grad school, in state, and got in two years after graduating college. It took three long, stressful, expensive years to get my graduate degree, but I did it. I graduated with my Master's in Nursing and couldnt have been more proud.
During my clinical rotations, I rounded with an endocrinologist who specialized in diabetes. Before meeting him, diabetes was one of my least favorite subjects. I was scared of all the treatment options and the seriousness of the disease. This doctor completely changed my way of thinking. He treated his patients in such a novel way that made total sense to me. He had high success rates and an easy demeanor. He inspired me to want to be like him, a diabetes specialist. He even offered me a job if we were to stay in the area after my graduation. I was elated, so happy to have been offered my dream nursing job. .... And then we found out we were moving to Germany.
Again, I was elated for the opportunity to live and travel overseas and I havent regretted our decision once. But I am at a professional crossroads now. There are remarkably few opportunities for civilian nurse practitioners to work over here. I tried for months to find a job before getting pregnant. Now that we have a little one and no childcare, my options are even fewer.
In December I received a letter from the national certification board stating that my certification, along with several others, was being eliminated. If I didnt meet the requirements for recertification within five years of taking my boards, I would lose my certification and be unable to practice as a nurse practitioner, ever. I couldnt believe this! I havent even had the chance to work as a nurse practitioner yet, the career I worked so long and hard to get. And now it might slip through my fingers. Years of school, money, stress and time wasted. Before March 2015, I must get 3,000 working hours and around 75 educational hours. I can get the educational hours relatively easily, but the working hours? Not so much. Im not sure what's going to happen at this point.
I never intended to be a stay at home mom. Ive worked and/or been in school since I was fifteen. Ive been a little lost with all of my free time since moving here. Hobbies and social gatherings only take up so much time. And really, how many times can you clean your house? Since having a child, my "free" time has been drastically reduced, but I still feel like I am floundering. I feel so blessed to be able to stay home with our child, to watch her grow, teach her about the world around her and see her flourish. But I never intended to be a stay at home mom. I feel like something is missing. I actually want to work. My mom worked while I was growing up and is still working to this day. I admire her so much for making it all work, for being an awesome mother, plus juggling a full-time, demanding job. I feel like I have so much to contribute to society. I want to be out there helping people. Being a mother is the most rewarding and important job I will ever have. I just want to do that and more.
*Hold your hateful comments. Please remember that these are just my opinions of myself and not in any way a reflection of how I feel about other people. I think being a SHM is an awesome and incredibly difficult job. So difficult, that it's just not for me. I greatly admire all moms, whether they work in the home or out.
1 year ago