Monday, July 6, 2015

The stars have aligned (or should I say planets?)

Graduation! It's exciting time in anyone's life and I am lucky enough to have experienced three in my professional life and 32 years on this earth. On December 16, 2013, it was no different -- for five years, I'd dreamed of teaching future nurses and it was finally going to come true.  Little did I know the rocky, curvy road I was about to take to get there...

Ready to Roll
Eighteen months ago, I graduated and I immediately updated my resume, CV, and started my job hunt. I knew the simulation lab was where I liked to be during my clinical rotations. Clinical teaching was fun (and tiring), but I was good at it and it was originally why I chose to pursue my Master's.  In the end  I wanted to teach nursing part-time and still do my other passion -- endoscopy nursing.

I applied for a position that I thought was perfect.  It was a coordinator position in a simulation lab for a baccalaureate nursing program.  A week or so after applying I made a follow-up call to inform them of my recent application and interest in the position.  The gentleman thanked me for the call and the following day I got an email stating the position had been filled.  :(  So I continued my hunt.

A clinical teaching position at a different college had just been posted online.  I applied and a couple of weeks passed.  During that time, my husband came home from work and said:  "I just got orders, we're moving to New Mexico.  We'll be there on May 1st."  I was excited for the new adventure, but then thought "Oh no! What about the job I just applied for?!"  I can't remember, but I'm almost positive it was the next day that I got a call from the school offering me an interview.  I had no choice but to decline the interview.  It just wasn't fair to waste their time.

So....I began the search for teaching jobs in NM.  I remember searching 13 different college and university websites for teaching and online teaching positions.  Unfortunately, I didn't qualify for any of the online teaching jobs.  ALL of them required at minimum two years online teaching experience.   I also had no luck finding an actual teaching job in or near the city we were moving to.  After all I was a new graduate and moving to the middle of nowhere NM!

Knowing that endoscopy has been my niche the past five years -- I applied at the local hospital and started my new position as soon as we got settled in NM. Two weeks into my hospital job, I got a phone call from the director in Nevada (whom I thought blew me off), informing me the Sim Lab position I had applied for, was filled internally and there was a another position he encouraged me to apply for if I was interested.  I kindly declined and said we had just moved out-of-state.

Chugging Along
After about a month in our new home, I met Maggie at the infamous Wine Club.  We immediately hit it off (both east coasters) and were soon spending time together going out to eat and getting pedicures together. :)  Her husband had just graduated from the local university's nursing program.  She invited me to an event at the school so I could network. I dressed to the nines, brought a copy of my resume and was prepared to shine.  The local university's new director of Allied Health informed me she would keep my resume on file and let me know if any positions opened up.  I also met with the associate director of nursing from the sister school an hour away.  It was overall a successful outing and I prayed a part-time teaching job would be on my horizon very soon!

Detour
Fast forward six weeks.  I'm sitting for my interview in the office of the director of the sister school in the next city over from where I live. This was my opportunity for me to discuss my new acquired skills and hopefully start a part-time teaching job!  YAY!!
But the fact was -- I was already working eight to ten hours shifts five days a week at the hospital, taking "call" one night a week and working one weekend a month.  How can I teach part-time and still work at the hospital?  I was willing to make it work somehow, anyhow, I just wanted to start teaching.  The director was aware of my hospital job and asked me to speak to the full-time instructor to work out a schedule. The full-time instructor said I'd need to teach at least one day/week, with the occasional weekend and also more hours for the laboratory skills training.  I was heartbroken.  This schedule just wasn't going to jive well with the position I already had.  On August 28th, after a lot of contemplating, I put in my resignation at the hospital and accepted a part-time position at the local surgery center.  This would definitely free up more time for me to teach the remainder of the week! BAM!! I got this!

Crash, Boom!
Literally two days after turning in my resignation letter for my hospital job, my husband got into a terrible accident.  My (our) entire world flipped upside down.  With the help of my in-laws, we packed up necessary clothes and belongings and moved to Texas so my husband could transition to inpatient rehab with the best of the best Texas!  I declined the surgery center position and didn't know what the future held for my career.  I just needed to focus on my husband and the rest would fall into place when it was time, right?

After a month in Texas, I received a call from the Allied Health director and she said a teaching position was open for the spring semester and she encouraged me to apply.  I politely declined yet again and informed her of the recent events in my life.

On the Road Again
In April 2015, we found out we would officially be moving back to NM within the next few months.  I was thrilled -- I can start the job hunt again!  I already knew the area and had done my networking last summer.  I decided to email the Allied Health director to inform her I would be returning to NM and I'd be happy to discuss a teaching position when one was available.  I guess the odds were finally in my favor because she informed me of a teaching position and encouraged me to apply if I was interested.  I informed my husband, this was my chance and I better take it!  We decided we'd do whatever we needed to do to make my dream of teaching come true.

You've Arrived at Your Destination 
I have always been one to want things to happen yesterday, but I've learned I can't live life like that anymore. These past ten months in Texas have been a roller coaster and a complete life altering experience for my husband and I.  But after nineteen months and five failed/near-miss job opportunities, the stars finally aligned (or should I say planets?)!   Today I accepted the position of Assistant Professor in the Allied Health department at the local university in NM. It was a long time coming, but truthfully I know that my experiences over the past ten months have shaped me into a more confident, strong and patient person.
As I mentioned earlier, my original goal was to teach part-time and work in endoscopy part-time, but I've realized that just wasn't in the cards for me after so many failed attempts. Now that I've landed the job I was destined to do, I'm excited and scared just like I was each time I graduated, but I'm ready to tackle it head on.  It's my time to shine and I am going to shine like Jupiter and Venus have done this past couple of weeks! :)



What roadblocks have you had while trying to pursue the job you were destined to do?

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