Thursday, September 11, 2008
NewFNP loves vacation so much that she wishes she could turn it into a profession. Alas, as newFNP's mom used to say, it's too bad that we weren't born rich instead of so good looking!
Quite a difference from an urban health clinic!
NewFNP has had a lovely time off and actually feels rested enough to start her new job as well as returning to her old clinic. This fresh glow will fade rapidly, to be sure, once the pulls of clinical life begin anew, but that is in another five days, so in the interest of continued mental wellness, newFNP shan't focus on that.
In addition to spending a few lovely yet bearish and sometimes physically grueling days in a national park, newFNP had the pleasure of meeting a fellow alum of her nursing school - a woman, MLG, in her 90's who graduated in the 40's. She currently lives in the same senior's community as newFNP's grandparents. When newFNP met her in the elevator, her enthusiasm was intoxicating. NewFNP returned the next day to talk to her more.
MLG, after completing her bachelor's in English literature, headed to nursing school "to get away" from her family's expectations and to see the world. She earned her first master's degree, then left the US to work as a war nurse in London. She returned and worked as a visiting nurse for some years before heading across country to work at a very prestigious hospital as a pediatric nurse. She left this position, however, when she disagreed with the policies of the ward - noting that they would give the active children phenobarbital in order to calm them down. She moved to another hospital, where yet another alum was the head administrative nurse, and worked as the chief of pediatric surgical nursing. It was here that she realized her passion - "the emotional life of children" - and used her GI Bill benefits to earn her MSW. She spent the rest of her life as a social worker. When newFNP explained to her that the school now has a child psych NP specialty, her eyes lit up. She noted how many more options students have now.
NewFNP noted the different paths that she and MLG took to the doors of the same institution. MLG chose her path to leave behind and explore, whereas newFNP actively chose, sought out, was wait-listed and then finally admitted to the school. It speaks to the growth of nursing as a profession, does it not? Perhaps this only applies to academic nursing programs?
Unlike newFNP, this woman lived in the nursing dorm and had little contact with students from other academic foci. The nursing and medical schools were separated from the main campus, as they are today, in a then-and-now seedy area. NewFNP explained that, while there were still dorms for the health-professions students, she lived several miles from the school, in an apartment by herself. MLG told newFNP that it sounded like newFNP had a lot more fun than she did during nursing school. Probably very true; newFNP had more than her fair share of fun in school!
Like newFNP, MLG was a part of a group of six friends who have continued to meet regularly for retreats. Like newFNP, she considers this group of women to have been one of the most valuable aspects of her time spent at this very prestigious and academically rigorous institution. It's funny - newFNP considers her education to be vitally important, but she could have learned nursing at many institutions. Her friends, however, are irreplaceable. MLG's group now numbers only three.
Meeting this woman was a gift for newFNP. What a lovely experience to share.