The NCLEX, Christmas, and moving happened within 3 weeks of each other. You know me. I like to keep life interesting. And apparently, exhausting.
My NCLEX experience was very anxiety-provoking. I studied using Saunders review (mostly the practice questions) and this game I played with my husband called RNtertainment. I did a “dry run” before the test, classic standardized-test-style, to make sure I knew where I was going and what to bring. On test day, I got there early and sat in my car a bit before going in. I was very nervous and then the palm scan decided that it hated me. It would not scan my palms properly. The proctor said, “ugh…I’ll have to fill out an incident report”…to which I sarcastically thought, “I very sorry that my palms have ruined your day..”. Finally, I got in my cubical in the testing room and started the test. The questions were hard and varied in types. I had that many of my classmates only got 75 questions so when it got to 80 I took a deep breath. Then, 90, 100….I started to get extremely restless and annoyed and thought that maybe I had failed. Finally, it ended at 150 questions and I was extremely anxious to go home and try the NCLEX “trick” to see if I passed. When I got home it says that there is a hold on my results…so I keep thinking, “crap, I definitely failed and will have to pay $500 again which is going to suck..”. Then, I started searching forums online and found out that other people had holds on their account either for finishing too fast, the palm scanner, discrepancies with their names, etc. Some of the people with holds had failed and some had passed. So basically, for the next 40 hours I was SO STRESSED because I just wanted to know! I must have rechecked the website 5,000 times. I gave up for a few hours and got some packing done for the move. Finally, I went on the Board of Nursing website to try and verify my license the next day and it said, “passed”!!!!! I was utterly relieved and happy. I celebrated by posting my results online, updating my linked in account, and going out to dinner at the restaurant near where we got married with my hubs and had a great time. Honestly, I feel relieved but won’t be ecstatic until I get a full-time nursing job.
The next week was moving and Christmas and family Christmas parties. It was exhausting and hectic but I love our new place! It’s bigger and nicer and in a cute little neighborhood. It has a great master bedroom and bathroom, a guest room (possibly future kid’s room), office, porch, updated kitchen, and huge garage! I love it. I hope we stay here for at least 5 years. We were so dead though that even considered using a groupon deal to hire a maid service to clean our old place because of how exhausted we were but by the time I did that it was already so close to the end of the month. We ended up going over there and deep cleaning ourselves. I don’t want to move in a long time because I’ve seriously done it too much throughout my years of education, but when we do there will be garage sales ahead of time, decluttering, movers, and house cleaners. Trust me, not doing that again, I’m not joking! Moving is a beast.
Last week I picked up 4 shifts at my group home job and celebrated New Year’s by working with a cold. Honestly though, I’ve heard that real nurses tend to work either Christmas or New Year’s so I just thought of it as something normal that I would get used to eventually. Plus, moving is expensive so shifts are needed. After working those shifts I had a few days off so we had a garage sale, made a few bucks, and got rid of some stuff. I plan on taking the leftovers to goodwill later on. It feels good to get more unpacked and settled in the house. Unfortunately, we don’t have a washer or dryer yet and are still looking. Also, we want to change the garage door to the door with a cat door in it, add lighting to the front yard, and we need furniture for the front room and guest room. I’m going to attempt to buy furniture and decorate on a strict budget. Secretly, in my head, I’m already calling the front room, “the craigslist room”. Super excited to shop as we go.
I applied for a few jobs today. In my area, hospitals are saturated with nurses and will only hire nurses with 1-2 years experience. A few nurses will get into the graduate nurse programs, which I’ve applied to but haven’t heard anything from yet. In a perfect world, I’d work at a hospital in pediatrics immediately after graduating because I would be able to apply the skills I learned in nursing school and keep them up. Because of how saturated the job market is here I’m applying to nursing homes, home health agencies etc. I’m just going to keep applying and keep my fingers crossed and hopefully update my CPR/AED/BLS here soon. I’d like to get education and certificates through wherever it is that I end up working but I will have to wait and see about that.
In the meanwhile, my as-needed job at the group home has offered me a full-time position which I definitely will take since I need the shifts. Also, my last BSN classes start on the 6th..sigh…so not looking forward to that! Almost done with all school work though. Just trying to stay positive until we. finally, get. there.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year! Onward and upward.