Thursday, October 28, 2010

Waiting is the hard part

After so many years of thinking and dreaming about changing careers, I finally took action and applied to nursing school.  That felt great, if somewhat surreal.  Now comes the long wait, and I wouldn't exactly put 'patience' on my top ten list of outstanding personal qualities.  The decision to change has been made after so many years of waiting -- and I am ready to jump in right now!

It turns out I have to wait until mid-November, just for the University to put my application into their system!  The University has certain programs that have a January intake, so they are currently concentrating on processing those applications.  The BScN program I have applied for, only has a September intake class, so those applications are (understandably) somewhat of a lesser priority for the University right now.  I just want to see something official that says I have truly applied to the nursing program!  Yes, I have a photocopy of the stamped date of my application form, but that doesn't feel official enough.  I want an acknowledgement saying that, "We have received your application for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at XXX University...."  I am still waiting for the one transcript I requested, that I know I have to submit to make my application file complete.  Hopefully that will come in the next week, then I can check off the last remaining item to submit.

Waiting is not easy.  However, luckily, I have a very busy home life and work life to keep me well occupied.  However, during the work day, I often find myself wishing it was nursing classes I was focusing on, rather than the job at hand. 

It is also very difficult not to talk about this with my colleagues and friends.  Two very trusted colleagues know of my plans, and several close friends know.  Apart from those people, however, I am not saying anything to anybody else.  I just want to have that acceptance letter in my hand -- to truly know that his change is happening, before I (finally!) start sharing my news with people.

On an unrelated note, I found several websites that specialize in 'future RN' items one can purchase, such as various pieces of clothing, travel mugs, bags, fridge magents, etc etc (you get the idea).  Some of the items made me laugh.  One was a T-shirt that said, "Pity me.  My wife is a nursing student.", and a button that said, "Be nice to me...I could be your nurse one day."  I think when my acceptance letter to nursing school comes, and my upcoming career change becomes public knowledge at work, I will print up the latter saying, and hang it on the door to my office!

I'm also following media coverage of the current cholera outbreak in Haiti.  How ready I would be to jump on a plane and start helping out.  Back in January when the earthquake hit, and I was watching the coverage of that, and I literally had a 'dull ache' inside, as I was so desperately wanting to go help give medical assistance there.  My first aid skills and many hands-on experiences with the St. John Ambulance Brigade just aren't good enough qualification to go help in a situation like that!  Nursing is a career I will never, ever retire from.  Our dentist organizes volunteer dental clinics in South America, and I've already told her that in 2015 I'll be able (medically certified to help) and willing to join her on one of her trips.

Here's to waiting, waiting, waiting, hoping and dreaming.....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The DECISION has been MADE & ACTION has (finally) been TAKEN!

To the friends who have known me for a long time, they know that a career change has been a long time coming.  Those same friends who have known me for a long time, have also known my life-long dream about working in the medical field.  To those friends, it was probably somewhat surprising that I did not end up in the medical field earlier.  But better late than never!

Deciding to change careers, especially when one finds herself in a very secure, well-paying job, one with excellent benefits, pension and great opportunity for promotion, is a scary prospect.  Factor in several children, and the prospect becomes even scarier.  Any major change is a scary prospect.  Also factor in the unconditional love and support of an incredible husband who believes in me, and the prospect of change becomes truly, if still somewhat vaguely, possible and real.  However, when I will eventually start talking about this upcoming change more-widely in my circle of friends, family and colleagues, I am quite certain many will think I need to get my head examined!  Lol!

I can honestly say that deciding to change careers is neither a mid-life crisis (even though it may appear that way!), nor an impulse decision.  It is something I have been actively and seriously thinking about and dreaming about for about at least the past decade.  However, being pregnant and getting through the early years of three separate newborn babies, required much time and energy.  Family was definitely a priority, over any career.  Now the children are a bit older and all have started school, and I am again in a position to decide if I can truly take the plunge and fulfill my dream of being a medical professional.  I feel like it is now or never (gasp -- I am definitely not getting any younger!)

So with all that as a pre-amble, I can get back to the point of this entry, as outlined by the title.  I have made the decision to change my chosen career field, to go back to school, and to do something completely different with my professional life.  To do something I've dreamt about for as long as I can remember.

I now have my completed application dropped off at the University, my application fee has been paid, my MA transcript has been submitted.  I am just waiting for one transcript to arrive, from a school I spent my first year of university life attending.  Once that arrives, my file should be complete, unless the university asks for some clarification of something.

It feels GREAT and somewhat unreal, to have actually submitted the application. 

Now I can worry and plan the 'what if's", something that I am surprisingly good at (it is a honed skill....).  While I am somewhat, relatively confident that I'll get accepted, (my application is strong -- undergraduate degree was finished Magna cum laude, MA was top of my graduating class, almost 1,000 hours of volunteer work in the medical field), until I have that acceptance letter in hand I will remain somewhat on edge.  After all, I'm not fresh out of high school, like many of my classmates will be.  However, I have other valuable qualities and talents to bring to the job, gained by life-experience and real-world, on the job, experiences, that those fresh out of high school don't have yet.  So it is all a balance and trade-off.  But from everything that I've been reading, I also certainly won't be the only mid-career aged woman there.  In fact, there should be quite a contingent of us 'older' students. 

I will fully relax and fully believe that this is actually happening to me, when I hold that acceptance letter in hand.  

Wish me luck and join me in my journey!!!