December 14, 2008

File under: Unexpected Smells in Manhattan; Pleasant Edition


Unfortunately, it’s not growing any money yet. We’ve all got our fingers crossed though.


October 25, 2008

A smart car.

(This post won’t be of much interest to anyone that isn’t looking for a job as a new graduate nurse in NYC.)

I did want to write about the experience of the job hunt as a new graduate nurse looking for work in NYC.  My reference points for this are mostly based in Utah, where the nurse recruiters were all over the new graduates.  Most of my friends started working on temporary licenses as soon as they’d finished the degree but before they’d taken their boards.  

My understanding of New York is that as a new graduate you can start working even without a temporary license if you graduated from an accredited NY nursing program. – Of course, keeping that job is dependent upon your successfully passing your nursing boards within a designated amount of time. – Also, as you might expect, there are a lot of nursing schools in the New York area.  These factors make it more difficult to find a position if you are coming from out of state.  

Ultimately I had to travel to New York to find a job.  I tried to do it from Utah, but it was difficult to get a hold of the nurse recruiter that you wanted to talk to, and they are so busy!  Being there, standing in their office makes it a lot harder from them to brush you off by telling you that they’ll call you if they have something for you.  Mind you, a lot of them still say this, even to your face, but you have better odds of them actually considering a position for you if you’re standing there.  

I did a lot of cold calls and walked into a lot of hospitals like I actually had business being there.  My goal was to just get into the the recruiting offices – Do you have an appointment?  No, I just need to drop something off.  But do you have an appointment?  No, I just need to drop something off.  OK, it’s up on the 4th floor… – There was a lot of acting like I knew what I was doing and a little bit of playing naive to get myself through the door.   

It was my opinion that if I could just get an interview with the nurse manager I would be offered the job.  Of course, this might not have actually been the case, but that’s the opinion I have of my abilities and what I have to offer.  Fortunately for my self-esteem, the interview was in fact followed by the job offer.  Identity crisis averted.    

I have a friend that I graduated with that also went to NYC looking for a job.  Her trip was not a success.  I think she is planning on just getting a job here in SLC and then going to NY as a travel nurse (which is a better financial deal, anyway.)  In Utah she has her pick of the department she wants to work in.  I thought about this approach for myself when I was afraid the NY job wouldn’t pan out, but this approach would require me to spend at least another year in Utah.  I love Utah, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I’ve reached a life-plateau here and I still want to go higher.  I can do travel nursing later if I want, right now I want to live in NYC.  

There is a nursing shortage in this country.  It’s only going to get worse in the coming years.  But so far I’ve decided that the time this shortage is felt the least is July-October after the wave of new graduates enters the workforce.  If you want a new graduate nursing position in New York City then get there in May or June when there are more spots available and they are full on in the mode of new graduate hiring.  But no matter when you get there, it’s still possible to get a job, you just have to be willing to do the foot work.

Bagels and Jobs

September 26, 2008

I accepted the job I was offered on Wednesday.  I also discovered what I get to stress and worry about now that I’ve found a job; finding a place to live.  But I keep telling myself that it will work out.  After all, everything else has.  

I also had my first NYC bagel today.  It was from a little hole-in-the-wall place near where I’m staying.  I’d heard good things about NYC bagels but I’d never tried them.  I searched for the best bagels in the city and sure enough there is a list, and I’ll let  you know when I try one of the bagels places written about, but for now I just tried a standard shop.  It was very good.  They say it’s the NYC tap water that gives the bagels their distinctive deliciousness, I think that might be true.  I’ll do more research and get back to you.  

Tomorrow I head back to Salt Lake, where I expect to spend about two weeks making the rounds and wrapping things up there before returning to NYC to try and find a place and settle in before I start work.  This whole process hasn’t been happening on my timetable (unless you count the timetable I gave myself this week to find a job,) but it really is happening.  I’m very excited.

Life Changes

July 3, 2008

Published in the May 22, 2008 edition of QSaltLake

Before we start, I should mention that this is my last regular installment for QSaltLake rather than just disappearing without explanation in June. I’ll be graduating the last day of May and relocating to New York City shortly thereafter. My life, it is a-changing.

Things are no longer mapped out for me. There is no schedule of required classes that I must take. It’s a very exciting time, but a sad time, because I’m facing the loss of so much that is familiar. But I wouldn’t trade my life and where I am right now for any other situation.

Along with the grief and excitement there is also fear. I would say that I am afraid, but that’s not exactly right. I feel fear about all that is unknown in my future, but I’m not afraid. I’ve thought of a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t turn my life upside down and move across the country, but each and every one of those reasons is based in fear. My decision to go, on the other hand, is based on the big picture of my life. It’s this bigger perspective that tells me if I don’t do it now then I never will, and I will regret it later.

My own move got me thinking about the role fear plays in all of our lives. I’ve learned that our fear represses us, not our religious upbringings or our life circumstances. It’s the fear within us that we might try and fail to be better, to be different, to be happy, to be free and the inaction this fear causes that keeps us from living on a higher plane. And it’s not just your own fear that can repress you.

People will often doubt your ability to do something because they doubt their own ability. I have a friend who has been living in New York City for the last two years and there are still people who question his ability to successfully do so. Many people filter their vision of what’s possible for you by comparing it to what they think is possible for them. Needless to say, these people often sell themselves short.

Not wanting to sell myself short I’ve asked myself how I can leave the life I have in Utah. Here I’m surrounded by family and friends, people I love, and who love me. There is familiarity and comfort here, so how can I possibly pick up and move across the country? Well, I don’t believe that life can remain as it is, in some sort of suspended animation. Life moves on, and you’d do well to keep moving with it. Attempting to keep things as they are is a very efficient way to drain the vitality and happiness out of your existence. Life is fluid and much shorter than any of us can understand from our mortal perspective. If this life is all that I have then I’m determined to live the hell out of it. And if there is something more to come, then I will welcome whatever it may be. I’ve resolved to live and experience my life as I know it now.

The only reason I’ve ever written in a public forum is the chance that something I share might be of value to another. But there have been many unexpected benefits that have come to me through this column. A quote from one of my last nursing school lectures explains it well: “Increasing one’s openness to self and others is the basis for being able to establish healthier interpersonal relationships.” And that’s really what life breaks down to, interpersonal relationships. You can throw a party, but if you don’t let anyone in the front door then you aren’t going to have a very good time. Be selective, but make sure that you really are letting people in. This column has allowed me to let you in and I’m much the better for it. So, thank you.

I hope for you what I hope for myself; that you love honestly and live openly, and that the dreams that don’t come true pass quietly and are overshadowed by even greater realities.

QSaltLake would like to thank David for his hard work and contributions, and give him our warmest wishes for a sucessful and happy future in the Big Apple. Hey, David. Remember us to Broadway because we’ll always remember you.