Reflections on a Journey

I’ve been a graduate for five days now.

The only thing that has substantively changed is that I don’t feel this ongoing sense of urgency. Well at least not related to academia (ask me about this again next week after the movers have gone).

But there has been a shift.

I can make dinner without watching the clock to make sure I have enough time to finish up a paper. I can pack up my house without feeling panicked about being unable to find an article I have to read. I can kiss my husband without feeling guilty about the fact that I really should be studying … but I’d rather snuggle. I can horse around with the dogs and not worry that the little one is going to jump all over my notes.

(Apparently I am still wound tight. 😉 )

But it is a relief that we made it to this point. I’ve spent the past four years (check that, SIX counting prerequisites) preparing to become a nurse and to develop my skills as a nurse leader. I’ve had to make a case for my ability to be a leader this early in the game, and prove myself with actions rather than words.

I’m on my second nursing job. I’ve earned two nursing degrees, and am seriously contemplating a third (and maybe a fourth? More on that later.)  I’ve come to the conclusion that nursing is exactly what I am supposed to do, but I’ve also learned to redefine and reframe what it means to be a nurse. I’ve transitioned from the dream of pediatric oncology to the joy of gerontology.

In the past two years as I have developed as a professional, I have been both inspired and disheartened by the state of nursing in this country. Mostly inspired.

And I have so much more to share with you. Thank you for abiding me with me along the way. I look forward to more conversation, more debate, more community.

I said something on Facebook about the journey coming to an end, and a close friend pointed out that maybe it was just the beginning.

She’s so right.

Let the journey continue.

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