Graduate School While Traveling

So, I got into a doctoral program to become a DNP with an FNP specialty. Yay! I’m super excited and a little nervous. Everything happened all at once (per usual with my life) and so now I’ll be a travel RN all while getting my Doctoral degree (full time?part time?). Even though this means that I’ll have to cut my travel nursing days a little short, I’m okay with that because…well…I care more about my educational advancement and becoming an FNP. Once I have that doctoral degree and my APRN licensing, I know that I can go on to become a locums tenens which sits quite well with me at this stage in my life. I’m incredibly happy to be accepted into the program and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go and become all that I can be!

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Not All Who Wander

I think my first travel assignment is relatively low paying. But what’s so funny is that I can’t seem to find it in me to care. I was more interested in finding a supportive unit with great nurse to patient ratios, a positive and supportive manager, and a nice location. As long as I can pay my bills and have a few hundred left over for saving, recreational books, and exploring, I’m content. It’s almost needless to say that money has never been a good enough incentive for me to do things. Personal growth usually is.

My aunt reminded me last night that I’ve been talking about traveling since I was in high school. She reminded me that before I even received my degree, I was talking about wanting to be a travel nurse and that I was eager to see the world. It’s funny because I couldn’t remember voicing that desire to anyone. I think I got even more confident that this was a good choice when I discovered that I could also travel as a nurse practitioner. It feels nice to know that my desire to travel doesn’t have to end with the DNP and a slight alter in scope of practice. I’m happy to discover that I can do a lot of this online. It feels even better to know that there are people who travel while in Graduate school as well. It makes me feel like it’s possible to live the life of my dreams and to accomplish the things I want to accomplish.

Here’s to hoping~

The Incredibly Elusive Mr. Right

When I was younger, I use to become super excited to travel, not because I wanted to see new places, but because I was excited for the potential to find love! I would always put on my very best outfits because, “Mr. Right might be there!” It sounds silly, I know. But the allure of travel to me was the potential to find that perfect someone out there somewhere for me. This happened on my many trips to, during, and from the Caribbean, New York, Delaware, California, Nevada, Canada, Mexico, college, other people’s college campuses, etc. But Mr. Right was never there. And I was always disappointed. I recently received a job offer to work for 13 weeks in Texas and for a moment I found myself lifting up with the hope that Mr. Right might be there this time. That maybe this time around Mr. Right would make himself known. And then I stopped myself.

I’ve been looking for this elusive Mr. Right since I was 9 years old. He always changes shape, size, and face, but I always say that I’d know him when I see him. He was suppose to be in every state or country I visited but he was never there. He was suppose to show up and be my #1 travel buddy, companion, and friend. Mr. Right was suppose to understand me fully and accept me for who I am, to cuddle with me on those cold nights, and to snuggle up next to me as we watch movies late into the night. I wish I could tell you guys how many times I have worked on myself to make myself a better person in the hopes I would somehow draw Mr. Right and our fabulous life to me but no matter how high my vibration, no matter how much self-work I do,  Mr. Right remains hidden. I wish I could say that all of the self-work I did on myself, I did solely on my own behalf. But honestly, I’ve been living for Mr. Right for over a decade now. And now I’m going to Texas.

The last few weeks, I’ve been fantasizing about Texas, about meeting Mr. Right there and having him fall head over heels with me. I’ve fantasized that he’d be so smitten that he’d follow me to 2 different states (Texas and California) for 2 different travel assignments, and it would take him 6 months to finally work up the courage to ask me out on an official date and it would be in Alaska. Why Alaska? Because after I caught wind that Mr. Right was “stalking” me, I’d come up with some lie that I was going to take an assignment in Alaska, knowing full well that he’d buy a ticket to go there too! When I finally reveal to him that I’m not really going to Alaska and confront him about his true intentions, he’d tell me how he really feels and then he’d ask me out on an official date. Me, being taken back by his sincerity and honesty, and realizing that I’ve enjoyed his company these last few months, would then agree, take a month off from travel nursing, buy a plane ticket, where we would go on our first date in Alaska and talk by a wood fire place on some bear skin run in some fancy log cabin somewhere in Anchorage. I don’t even know if they have that in Anchorage! But it’s the only city I figured I’d like in Alaska. The point is, my plan was elaborate.

My assignment starts in March and I’m excited to venture into the world of travel nursing! I wish I could tell you guys it’s because I’m completely excited to see new sights, but it’s not. A big part of me is still on the lookout for Mr. Right or some cool new people to talk to or something I’d like to do. I’m also kind of bored. I think we all know what it’s like to be young and restless. Well, that’s me. So if I can find ways to alleviate my boredom and get paid to do it? I’m there.

Going For the DNP

Someone reminded me that if you’re looking to receive something, then you need to get yourself into a position to receive it. Many times we don’t realize how we let trivialities clutter our lives and hold us back from achieving the things that we want to achieve. I always use to complain about how little energy I had and how little time I had. Yet, I kept saying that I wanted to go to graduate school full time. How would that have been possible if I was always tired and had no time? I spent most of my days off sleeping or propped in front of the television watching movies. I barely put in any real effort into getting into graduate school. Many times, I think it was all talk but little to no real action. I didn’t make room or time for my success. In addition to that, there was doubt fueled by the lack of a plan. Was I “ready” for the advanced practice role?

When I first graduated with my bachelors degree in nursing, I didn’t have any real plan to go back to get a master’s degree, let alone a doctoral degree. I didn’t mentally prepare for that and so I made no room for that in my life. I had planned that getting my bachelor’s degree would be the final milestone in my education and that everything else I would learn from hands on experience. After about 7 months of bedside nursing, it finally hit me that I would never truly be satisfied until I had gone as far as I could go in nursing. I wanted to take a more leadership role in the care of my patients, not just following orders put in place by those with advanced education, but also issuing them. I wanted to have more control over the treatment and care of my patients and more control over my career options. This desire to become a family nurse practitioner then evolved as I discovered that I could become a traveling nurse practitioner (also known as a locums tenens nurse practitioner) and I found that I could have even more control over my career direction and options and that my role as a family nurse practitioner was not limited solely to one clinic, one hospital, or one focus. I found that I could combine my love of travel with my desire for greater autonomy and more flexibility.

Lately, my desire to go to graduate school has gotten stronger. I’m very interested in getting my doctoral degree to become a family nurse practitioner. I’m willing to put in the work, all while being a travel nurse (until I am ready to explore the world of labor and delivery for a time). I’ve finally made that space in my life that allows me to continue my education and pursue the life that I’d like to lead. I’ve made the time for it to happen in my life by reducing my stress level and removing clutter and I’ve begun to look forward to receiving my doctoral degree. I can say with much confidence and certainty now that I am in fact ready for the advanced practice role and to become a family nurse practitioner.

New Beginnings/No Nurse Is An Island

Two more people from my cohort (we started together) left my unit yesterday. They were two of my favorite people on the unit. I enjoyed talking to them and because we all made it to the level of Charge Nurse, I asked them both to write me letters of recommendation which they did. It’s because of their supportiveness that I am able to venture into the world of travel nursing and I appreciate them a good deal for it. I only wish I had bought them a gift, but they said the hug would suffice. And one of them told me to stop by his house anytime.

One of the people from my cohort told me that the bridge program he’s signed onto starts on Monday. And then I thought, “I really hope I don’t get a job offer from a hospital that cuts it that close.” I’ve spoken to several recruiters at this point and I told them when I would like my start date to be and what my plan was. I would like a month off so that I can get my life in order before taking this self of mine on the road. One month should be enough to get me caught up on doctor, women’s health, and dental visits, tax preparations, etc. Maybe even have some time to buy a camera and purchase my own insurance? Yep, can’t forget about that. 🙂

I’ve been thinking that while traveling, I may just get back on Facebook to stay connected to people I’m far away from. But I keep on shrinking from that idea. I think for me, the lure of traveling is that you get to leave behind everything you know and venture into a whole new world where you have to learn to navigate using the resources you have and learn about yourself in this new environment. It’s a time where you learn what you can and can’t accept and what you’re capable of adapting to. Facebook keeps everything so close together and so seemingly small, all connected and recorded on this little social media site. I’m not a very sentimental person but I likely will buy the camera and maybe instead of going on Facebook, I’ll post my pictures here.