Reasons For Hope

Since we need a little optimism I was doing some thinking and thought of a few things that I should to keep in mind to be hopeful and excited for the future.

#1: I am probably going to graduate from NP school in May

Back when I met Hubbin I was working in research but research doesn’t make very much money. My original plan in college was a career in research which would require me to get a PhD and move on from there — only after working in a lab for a few years, while I liked it, and still miss it sometimes I decided the PhD business wasn’t for me. I couldn’t pick a concentration and didn’t want the rest of my life to be defined by grant writing. I made the decision to go back to school but wasn’t sure for what. Medical school, which is probably what I would have done if I had some better advising in high school and college, was kind of out of the question because of my GPA from college. I never really wanted to be a nurse, but was interested in being an NP or PA to be sort of a mini doctor. So the breakdown went as follows: PA program for 2 years and done but I couldn’t work during it and would need to take out loans for school. OR NP school. To do NP school though, first you need to go to nursing school and a bachelors in nursing is required for entrance. So I needed to do nursing school, get a BSN, then go to the masters program, which would take a lot longer but I would be able to work the whole time.

Since Hubbin and I were engaged and getting ready to start out lives together, I made the decision to go the nursing route, mainly for financial reasons. We didn’t want to take on huge debt for school at the same time we were trying to buy a house and everything. Which sucks. Because I’ve been working full time and going to school part to full time since 2005 (really, with the prerequisites for nursing school – Nursing school actually started in January about 6 months after we got married)

So just think: The ENTIRE time we’ve been together I’ve been working and going to school full time. How nice is it going to be when I will just have 1 job! We both talk about how the best part of being on vacation together is getting to finally spend time together. The thing to be excited about is that the more time I spend with Hubbin the happier I am and the more I love him. It might just feel like vacation all the time once I’m out of school!

#2: I’m going to graduate loan free

Which I consider to be a HUGE accomplishment in and of itself

I have completely busted my butt and dealt with a lot of comments from Hubbin but this is totally going to pay off. I don’t mean it like that per say I mean we both agreed it was the route to go, but it is hard for Hubbin to 100% avoid reminding me that he pays ALL the bills. He pays EVERYTHING, my pay check goes towards fun activities, vacations, dates, and a weekly allowance for both of us. Otherwise I squirrel it away in my savings so I can write a check for a few thousand dollars each and every semester.

Between my tuition benefit from working full time, and choosing to go the cheapest route possible for nursing school (community college) I was able to finish nursing school by paying cash. While I was doing that I took a slight pay cut moving from research to being a nursing aide. But I thought the experience would be important to job hunting (and it was, because I was offered my nursing job in my same department about 5 months before I graduated). THEN I started my job as a nurse and got about a — $13,000 a year raise by moving from an aid to a RN. I enrolled in a BSN-MSN program the soonest start date after I graduated and paid about $15,000 in tuition to get my BSN. So we never felt that raise. The month after I finished the BSN I started the nurse practitioner program and I’m just ending and my bill is $33,000, so the entire time I’ve been working as a nurse we’ve still only been getting the same income as from when I was an aide really…. When I start working as an NP I’ll get an approximate $20 – $30,000 a year raise from my salary now… SO if you add that on to the raise I got when I was a nurse that we’ve never really felt the benefit from me finishing nursing school in the first place. So:

#3: It’s going to feel I’m getting a roughly $50,000 a year raise when I get a new job. (Holy shit!)

And

(Which I am both excited and nervous about): One of my coworkers in the ER who is a PA now is encouraging me to apply to jobs over Christmas break because the ER company is hiring lots of PAs & NPs right now. EEK! So:

#4: There is the potential to have a job lined up for me before I even graduate.

My friend who graduated last year said no one was too interested in talking to her in interviews until she had passed her boards, but my friend who is encouraging me to apply says they hired her before she passed her boards. My original plan was to leisurely take boards maybe around August after I graduated since I have this awesome weekend only gig at work now which I’ll be sad to leave. BUT this is causing me to need to seriously reevaluate this and really just the thought of taking boards makes me a little nauseated, I’m not going to lie. The plus side is if I can get a job lined up to start in August then I might be able to quit my current job in July and Hubbin and I could take a nice long vacation or just enjoy a long time together (since he’s a teacher).

and PS:

I believe we are a ‘go’ this month for the first unmedicated IUI. I called the clinic to let them know we were planning on doing it. The only issue would be if it needs to be a weekend. The clinic is open but my mandatory 12 hour shifts would prevent me from going in at all. So. Cross your fingers for a nice Sunday- Thursday positive OPK.

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Back on the Wagon

I am currently studying/paper writing at Panera and pondering the irony that I may or may not be stealing coffee from Panera while reading and writing my Ethics homework for the week……

Nothing but work and school since I last posted. I do lead a very lame life. My official stint as a steady charge nurse has begun which is really quite a pain in my ass. I accepted this position (which isn’t really a new position or more pay) really because it will A: look good on my resume and B: because it’s probably a good growth experience for me. However, with no additional financial compensation there’s not really many other benefits than now the “flow” of the ER and all the other issues throughout the day come back to me as my responsibility.

I am back on the diet wagon. We’ve got a competition going through my workplace with teams of 5 and we all weigh-in weekly. I know I’m not obese so can the negativity before you start… but my jeans are fitting tighter these days and I’ve got a bit of muffin top action going with my pants and shirts. (I do love that I get to wear scrubs on a daily basis – they are very forgiving)

Official starting weight on the 11th was 130.1… I’ll keep you posted. We have like 11 or 12 weeks of the competition and I set my goal at 8lbs (although 10 would be ideal). Which will get me close to what I was back in March when I fell off the wagon. The winner in the competition is based on the percentage of goal weight that the team achieves. I decided I needed a little motivation and accountability.

I’ve been using my Lose It! app on the iPhone.

Mini Vacation

I’m purposefully ignoring school and all obligations this weekend to party up in the lowcountry of Charleston, SC for two college friends who are getting married.

I was both very excited and a shade nervous about the weekend because I didn’t go to my college reunion, so this is the first time I’ve seen most of these people since graduation. So it 50% wedding, 50% reunion.

Off to a good start as our flight arrived 20 minutes early (honestly when does that EVER happen?!) took some much needed naps after getting up at 4am to dodge G20 national gaurd to get to the airport. Then we drove to a beautiful piece of land out on Johns Island with big old oak trees and Spanish moss. Drank wine. Ate BBQ pork. And listened to the band.

Please tell me…

Who out there actually enjoys school? Like genuinely?

I had yet another person ask me today “how’s school?” “do you like it?” and then be surprised when I said “It’s okay, no, not really”

Why is that such a surprising answer? Explain to me exactly what I should like about going to sit for 8 hours in a class room on my day off? A beautiful sunny day? About sitting here tonight on my night off looking up information for a research paper and typing up responses to a dumb fact-finding mission my teacher has sent me on. Explain to me what’s supposed to be fun and enjoyable about this?

“Oh sure I just love spending all my free time reading text books and writing papers, sure, school is GRAND, who wouldn’t like school?! There’s nothing I’d rather be doing on one of the last nice days of summer than sit in this classroom listening to someone tell me about political science, or nursing research… And boy I can’t WAIT to get home and start working on my paper rather than finishing the laundry or going to the gym”

Is that really the answer they’re expecting? It can’t be? Right?

Stressed

So I had my first panic attack/ mental break down last night. I swear to you I haven’t had a day at home in the past three weeks and in the past two I’ve only managed one solid day of school work. I have no idea when I’m going to catch up on all this homework. Plus with being so busy I haven’t been to the gym in probably three weeks either… Which brings me to this thought of the day from standing in line at the coffe shop, poingent no?:

Summer Review

Aww thanks Ashley 🙂 Nice to know I’ve been missed (PS, can you let me read your blog again? I miss knowing what you guys are up to)

I took a blogging hiatus mainly because I felt like I had nothing to talk about and due to school I was just a giant pool of negativity. Rather than post nothing but whining I thought maybe I should take a break.

June Stu’s dad came for Stu’s graduation from our school district and stayed for about a week. Hubbin looooooved Stu’s dad and promptly announced he wanted to adopt Stu’s dad for a year too. I told him we couldn’t just go adopting every German that swings by. We saw little of Stu his last couple weeks in the US because he was hanging out with his friends and getting in all the last minute social stops and graduation parties he could. We dropped Stu off at the drop off point on June 26th where he went to debrief for 3 days before flying home. All in all, Stu was a wonderful kid to have for a first exchange student because he was so pleasant and easy going. I’m quite sure we’ll have another one in the next few years. Fortunately I’m off the hook this year because Hubbin successfully recruited one of his German students to host another kid. Whew.

July We celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary 🙂 Then the next day I dropped Hubbin off at the airport for THREE WEEKS in Germany. Being a teacher is a very rough life. I finished my summer classes July 14th (finally!) My heart was just so not in the classes this summer and I felt guilty because I felt like I didn’t learn enough. I got ‘A’s in both of them but I did feel like I wasted a lot of time especially with my Advanced Assessment class. After school finished I essentially worked a lot in July and cleaned the whole house really well since there was no one to come around behind me and mess it all up. 😉 I swept swiffered and mopped each room in the whole house 🙂 and it stayed nice and clean until the day Hubbin got home and his suitcase exploded in the living room. Hubbin had horrible flight karma on the way home and missed his flight from DC to home by 5 minutes and then the next flight was delayed because of weather then delayed again and again, so instead of picking him up at 5pm in the afternoon my mom ended up picking him up at 2am because I had to get up for work at 5am the next day. Alls well that ends well but it was highly irritating to be looking forward to pick him up for THREE weeks and then barely get to see him at all when he got home.

August (so far)- I’m finally on my summer vacation and we just spent 5 days in Nice, France 🙂 We liked it so much on our cruise last year that we thought it would be a nice place for a summer vacation 🙂 I know it seems like a short trip but I was trying to be budget conscious with booking it 😉 It was very nice, we had a lovely time and every time we go on a vacation together where we can relax and aren’t distracted by our computers and TV and actually hang out together and reconnect I’m reminded of how well we fit together.Nice

Now hopefully I can get back to posting more regularly without all the whining.—that may be a little optimistic though because my classes start again in two weeks and I registered for 14credits. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t this a part time program I signed up for? I thought so. Oh well, I’ll be finished with the BSN in December and then I solomnly swear I will register for no more than 8 credits the rest of the program!