I’m stepping away from my nursing career, and I’ve been asked “why” over and over. My response has been “I need a change” or “I want to pursue other interests.” Both of those are correct; I do want a change, and I want to focus on my LuLaRoe business, graphic design, and my blog. But there’s a bit more to the story, and now that I’m officially done, here’s why I’m saying goodbye to nursing.
As a four year old, I had a devastating injury to my dominant hand. I broke a bone in my arm, and while it was casted, I developed compartment syndrome. Over the next ten years or so, I had other complications, which lead to 17 surgeries, including skin grafts from my left thigh, and a tendon transfer from my right foot. I had severe contractions that caused my wrist to draw up and limited my finger movement. Eventually, when I was 15, we decided to “fuse” my wrist in a neutral position by inserting a metal plate. This means my wrist doesn’t move at all, but I have a little bit of movement in my fingers.
Since I spent tons of time in the hospital and doctor’s offices as a kid, my only real dream was to be a nurse. All the way back to my kindergarten memory book, where it asks, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, it says “nurse.”
That was my dream.
After high school, I went off to college and worked my butt off to get my nursing degree (y’all, nursing school is HARD!). I have always loved kids and babies, and knew that I wanted to work with them. I got a job in pediatrics, did that for 6 years, and have been a nurse in neonatal intensive care units for the last 5 years.
Nursing has been a great job for me.
It supported us while KK was in pharmacy school, residency, and school again. I loved working three 12 hour shifts and having days off through the week. Even night shift was a blessing for me, because I’m not a morning person! I’ve met some of my best friends in my coworkers, and I’ve learned so much about life, and about death.
I will forever be grateful for my almost 12 years as a nurse. However, it’s time for me to step away. I have a few reasons for this, but the biggest is this: because of my injury, I have arthritis, and it gets worse with use. I am in pain after every shift. Also, nursing is emotionally and mentally draining. I now want a fun, low stress job, where I can be my own boss and set my own hours.
I followed my dream, but my dream changed.
I’m blessed to have options other than nursing, and an encouraging husband. I am taking a risk and pursuing my new dream. As a small business owner, I can work at home, and I have the flexibility to travel as much as we can. I no longer have to work nights, or holidays, or be in pain from just doing my job.
So, I am saying goodbye to nursing. It may be a forever goodbye, or it may be a “see you later” goodbye. Either way, I feel excited about this new chapter in my life.