Nevertheless, I got into nursing. Maybe it was my younger sister getting into it (through a high school CNA program) or my uncle Jesse (and his two children) who was a Registered Nurse who always said "you should be a nurse" or the 2008 recession causing a lack of jobs in public health that lead me to nursing, but I am glad I found it. I love nursing and I enjoy the flexibility it provides me within the field. In my 5 short years as a nurse, I've worked for seven employers (some jobs simultaneously) and have learned sooo much! None of the roles needed special certifications just on the job training. My major advantage as a candidate was that I am a bilingual/bicultural native Spanish speaker, which is a must for living in California (Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese are great languages to have in certain areas, too). I am also proud to say that after my sister graduated form her LVN program and me from my RN program shortly after her, I had 1 male cousin finish his RN, with 2 younger cousins inspired to do nursing, and 1 older cousin thinking about it. Honestly, I think anyone can find a career in nursing, even if you don't think you're a people person. There is no informatic nursing, administrative nursing, and legal nursing which don't require blood or guts (except to get through nursing school). I tried to convince my husband to do it, but he didn't budge.
So my point is, I wanted to help people since I was 12 and I think my dream has always been to see sick people and help them with their health problems. I love being like a health coach to help guide people in the right direction. I have a special passion for chronic disease and mental health issues because of my personal and family experiences. And while I don't care about making a ton of money, nursing does provide a stable income and usually good benefits. So I've been a nurse for 5 years in several different roles, all of which have had some great qualities, but none of them have been my perfect fit. Right now I'm close as a Diabetes Population Manager at Kaiser and as a virtual nurse for One Medical. I think the only improvement would be having an advanced practice license to do more than what I can do now. I've seen other people do this and I think I can be just as good if not better.
Long-term patience is not my best strength, but my plan for 2017 is this:
- Sticking to my One Medical part-time job as a virtual nurse and primary care experience, it has potential for a virtual NP role in a couple of years.
- Sticking to my Kaiser per diem role as a diabetes population manager for the chronic care experience and potential NP role for about 12-24 months.
- Get my CDE certificate!
- Start the NP program in June 2017-July 2018.
- Pass boards in July 2018 (whoa, I gotta study now!)
- Find an NP job in 2018!
- Pay down my $178k loan ASAP. This I can do a little better as a NP than a RN, because there are lots of loan forgiveness programs for NPs.