Sunday, July 6, 2008

When you leave a job you love...

It seems like in the last few years I have been doing this more often. Instead of leaving a job because I hate it I end up leaving something I really really love. It started back in CA when I worked the float pool of a local community hospital. I thought I would despise it, but instead I treasured the people I worked with, enjoyed being back in the hospital and regained my confidence as a highly skilled nurse. I left abruptly for a position that fell in my lap - a school nurse job that presented a lot of unknowns but also new opportunity. Of course I loved the school nursing job - a challenge in my social services skills but not as difficult in my clinical skills. A trade-off for sure. I loved the people from my schools, my students, my district and my boss. My boss had plans for my promotion within 5 years to the District Lead Nurse. Oh, it broke my heart to leave for our move to TX.

This brings me to my current position, ER nurse. At first I wasn't so sure about going back to the hospital, night shift, 12 hour shifts, unit politics and heavy on the clinical skills side. I quickly regained knowledge I thought I had buried and fell into the fast paced life of the ER. I LOVE IT! At times I think I was born for ER nursing. Roughly 2 months ago I was promoted to Charge Nurse. If anyone knows me, they know that I love to lead. This was it! The position for me. Which made it gut wrenching for the step I was about to take.

Months before I had applied for a job with the local school district at the request of my dear husband. I had actually put my application in at 3 districts local to me. I didn't hear anything from anyone for months - phone calls, messages and emails later - no bite. Then after being promoted at the hospital, a salary increase, and loving my job later I got a call to interview at two schools. A pit in my stomach developed within 10 minutes. Ug, not again.

But, yes, again. I do love kids and did love school nursing. I was offered a job at an elementary school where the retiring nurse got misty eyed as she told the principal that I was the one she had prayed for. It is a pay cut but the hours are infinitely better as far as my family is concerned (I would work the night shift forever if I had my say). Out respect for my current boss I wanted to break the news early that I would be leaving in a little less than 2 months. I was already at the hospital for my annual review where I was praised and lifted up many times over. Drats. I knew I would need to tell her soon. I broke the news as my voice shook. She cried, then I cried. Crap. Another job that I loved behind me...

Now I want to know why I keep doing this. Is it an illness? Am I incapable of job longevity? Argh! What I must settle on now as my heart breaks in leaving yet another job I love is that each time it has gotten better. Each job has been better suited for me. And ultimately each job change has been to better my family. I took the Float Pool job to earn more money for our struggling budget, I took the full time School Nurse job for continuity and to get us enough income for the purchase of a house. I took the ER job because I needed something in Texas and I needed it fast. Now I take this job so I can see my kids' T-ball games, take them to school in the morning, tuck them in at night, and not be so dead to the world on my days off. My husband would like to see me more. Also we plan to open our home to foster babies sometime in the coming year. These are all good things. And I am comforted by that thought. Who knows, maybe this is the job I will be doing for the next 20 years - but who are we kidding, right?

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