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1:49 p.m. - 2015-03-29
I need a job.
I have about six weeks of nursing school left and I am in a state of constant stress. Not about school, not about the NCLEX -- I am stressed about getting a job. What if I can't get one? What I get one and discover after putting four years into nursing school that I hate nursing?

Four years ago, when I started, I couldn't figure out why anyone would get a BA when you could get an Associate's and be just as much an RN as someone with a bachelor's. I quickly discovered catch No. 1, which is that it will take you four years to get the associate's anyway because the prereqs take two years (they're part of the BA program of studies, naturally).

Only recently have I discovered Catch No. 2: Hospitals don't want to hire Associate's Degree nurses because everyone's going for magnet status, and magnet hospitals must have 80 percent of their RNs having earned at least a BA.

Doesn't matter that my school has a higher NCLEX pass rate (99 percent)than any school in the state, including the four-year schools. It basically comes down to how much money you spent on your degree -- if you didn't spend enough, you're not good enough.

Bullshit. This why I am starting to fear I'll hate nursing. It's bullshit! Stupid, pointless, baseless bullshit.

Of course I am going to get my BA; shouldn't taken long with the seven years of college credit I've accumulated. There is a program tailored for graduates of my program and I should only need 30 credits to get the damn piece of paper. But still.

A's hospital, which is five minutes from our house, says in all of its ads that it does not hire new grads or anyone with less than 1-2 years' experience. A is calling on her friends and thinks I'll get a job there anyway; I have my second day of job-shadowing in the ICU on April 10. I made a lot of friends my first day job-shadowing, but that doesn't guarantee anything.

Of course I really want to work there. It is closest hospital to my house and I really don't want to work in a nursing home or a doctor's office. Ideally I'd like to work in the ER or ICU because I enjoy unpredictability and pressure. That's what I miss most about reporting -- pressure cooker, the adrenaline rush when you have four big stories you can't possibly get done by deadline (but you always do). Some bacteria thrive in the inside of volcanos, and some weird humans thrive in the workplace equivalent. I am afraid I'll never find that in nursing.

Right now I am OK with a little boredom, though -- I just want a job, any job that isn't second shift, to start. I can't work second shift because I'd never see my kids. Overnights, fine, but not 3-11.

If I can get a job, the rest of my life I have pretty well planned out. With a nurse's starting salary, even after taxes, and my child support, I should be able to save at least 3,000 a month, or 36,000 a year, which with my current savings is should be enough for 20 percent down on the house of my dreams in a year or so.

The current house of my dreams is a 5-bedroom 3-story Gothic Victorian near the hospital. It is ornate and gorgeous and a little scary; it looks like it should be in a movie. Between my (hopefully) salary, A's and child support, we can easily afford it in a year or so. Even if we're paying two mortgages for a while. The numbers are fine, her credit is perfect and mine is, well, improving post-divorce. (M was the worst thing that can happen to anyone's credit.) It's a little over 700 but I would like it to be higher. I have zero debt but I've also never had a credit card -- I finally broke down and let A apply for one for me. I'm putting it on autopay and using it for gas, which should improve my credit over the next year.

Ideally, we should be able to buy a house next summer. That is the plan. Actually the plan is to be ready to buy, and wait for one we love. I doubt my current love will still be on the market, but there will be another one.

My next step is to get enough experience to go to per diem work, so I can make the same amount of money and take a couple of months off. I can't move out of the country with my kids because of Matt, but I bet he'll let me take them abroad to immerse them in living in France or Mexico for a month or two in the summer. If I do that every summer they'll be close to bilingual/trilingual. Children learn very fast.

I also want to do humanitarian work as originally planned but that's a lower priority to me than raising multi-lingual kids right now. I am good goddamned if Matt is going to kill that lifelong dream of mine along with all the other ones he killed -- at least, now that I've figured out how to accomplish it in spite of him.

It helps that A has decided she doesn't want to go to school to make less money than she makes now as a vet tech; I supported that idea but it did stress me out. Now she wants to get a certificate and go into computer programming, which she is already quite good at. That pays well and doesn't require years of full-time school -- works for me!

I have realized that even if Matt still makes more at whatever he's doing that I will as a nurse, I'll have more money because Matt can't manage money at all. I have a 16-year-old car that I have no intention of replacing and I cut my own hair; He spends like crazy on stupid stuff -- every weekend I don't know how much he blows on "fun" and toys with the kids. Now that we're divorced the spending style that used to drive me batshit is giving me some grim satisfaction. I will end up with a nicer house, summers off to travel, making a difference with humanitarian work and (don't worry) plenty to retire on, in the long run. He will end up perpetually broke and still believing that he'll be a millionare someday. Um hmm.

In other words, I will beat him at his own game. That would be very satisfying.

But first I need a fucking job.



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