It's official (and it has been for some time now) - I've graduated school and passed all the necessary requirements to practice nursing in Texas! In this state, in addition to the NCLEX, there is also the Jurisprudence Test that must be taken to be registered as a nurse. It's extremely easy though, and it's essentially open book (or open browser - it's online and any resources can be used.) It's also official that my husband, The Pug and I are moving! This is a big deal to me - I dislike almost everything about Texas, particularly the conservative rat hole devoid of any concept of social justice where we currently reside. Texas does have its redeeming qualities though, most notably the generally friendly and endearing "Howdy y'all!" populace and the liberal progressive oasis of Austin. We'll still be in Texas, only in an exponentially better location.
I also have a job! As a graduate RN in Texas, many people mistakenly assumed that finding a job would be easy. Unfortunately, at the time of graduation in December, more than one third of my 100+ person class was still jobless, and that included myself. Several hospitals around here even have a hiring freeze, as do several of the places in our new city. When even the job outlook for nurses in Texas is bleak, something must be seriously wrong with the economy.
I tried to sell myself as best I could, and even with the magna cum laude on my diploma and volunteer work on my resume, I only got one bite at one hospital. And holy crap, was that a nerve wracking job interview. I practiced for hours before hand and am pretty sure that I bombed several questions, and then had to wait over 3 weeks for a callback. Luckily I got the job for the only position I was even considered for. There were only 3 positions even available, even on a 64-bed Med-Surg floor. Apparently budgets are pretty tight right now.
Anyway, the hospital is, unsurprisingly, religiously oriented. It does a metric ton of charity work in the area though and is not-for-profit, and that's something that I'll be proud to be a part of. (I don't want to get into politics at this moment, but let's just say that I don't think health care should be a for-profit venture and everyone should have access to quality healthcare.) It'll be interesting to see if there are any signs of the hospital's religious background in my day-to-day nursing experience. Obviously there are crosses on every wall and a point is made to notify visitors and patients of the hospital's mission, but hopefully it ends when it comes to employees. Overall, I think it will be a great place for me to start out and is full of opportunities.
I am excited to be able to continue on relating stories of the amazing people I come across and how they change my thoughts and views. I can't wait to grow as a person and care for my future patients. Next week, I start a new life.