Give In to Me

Oh, the nite shift life!

As a full-timer, I work two day shifts (0700-1900) then two nites shifts (1900-0700) and then I get five days off! It’s a pretty sweet get-up so long as you are good sleeper, which I am so excellent at. I sometimes describe sleeping as my personal super power! Superman jumps tall buildings in a single bound? I fall asleep pretty much anytime, anywhere in five minutes or less!

Sorry, I am already getting off-course. That will be a common theme in my writing, you have been forewarned…

Anyways. Tonite I am basically a glorified, over-paid babysitter. Don’t get me wrong, there are shifts where you don’t stop for one-minute and even then you don’t feel like you are getting half of what needs to be done done. But tonite my patient is stable, off-monitor, no lines, ready to be transferred to the floor.

I have therefore taken the opportunity of this q—- (Double Jeopardy Question: A 5-letter word that should never be uttered in a hospital in fear that it will bring about bad juju and utter chaos?) shift and started sending out some emails! I emailed my governing body to get copies of my current practicing certificate. I emailed my University School of Nursing to get course outlines and proof that I do in fact have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. I emailed my workplace HR to get a letter of employment noting the number of hours I have worked the last three years. As a nurse, I don’t send a whole heck of a lot of emails. I receive plenty, most of which I delete without reading (shhh, Don’t tattle on me!), so sending out three or four back-to-back like that made me feel very business-like! I began the process of filing out forms for the application process of becoming a nurse under the Nursing Council of NZ and also tried to tackle a few things on the To-Do List that Tonix sent me.

Last weekend I took my first REAL step in order to move my plans forward in my NZ nursing registration, which feels very accomplishing! One of the requirements is an English language test, I was born and raised an English speaker, so this seemed quite rhetorical but rules are rules I suppose… I completed an Academic IELTS test while I was home in Ottawa, and though I don’t have my results back I feel fairly confident that it went well. The cost was $299 (which is very steep considering I already know that I speak English fluently…) and consisted of a Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking component. The first three sections took just over 3 hours, and the Speaking portion was a 10-minute, one-one-on-one ‘meeting’ that was scheduled for individual times later on in that same day.

I didn’t study for the test, rather I just quickly did a few practice questions to familiarize myself with what was the test format. I was probably one of the few (if only) native English speakers at the test, and found that the allotted times for each section were more than enough. I am waiting to receive the results from the test, and should hopefully get them in the mail shortly after March 4. I am so excited to find out how I scored, I almost feel like I am expecting an Owl from Hogwarts! Sitting the test made this all feel very REAL. This is no longer some wishy-washy dream, one way or another I am going to find myself in NZ!

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Where is this (/she) going?

IN West-Ottawa born and raised, in Kingston is where I spent most of my days…

So why the blog? (Other than to rid my brain of a constant onslaught of thoughts…)

I have decided that 2016 is going to be my year. Taking the plunge and making the jump into the (very) deep end. It’s the year that I finally move abroad.

Moving abroad has been a not-so-secret thought in the back of my head for years now. I very casually said to my parents one day at lunch this past Fall, “Just so you guys know, I don’t plan on being here come next Fall.” Mom, “Here-here, or here as in Canada?” My reply was just a sheepish smile.

I came to a crossroads Spring 2015 when I was trying to decide what my plans were for the future. I was in a living situation that dictated an immediate change (life tip: always, always have agreements in writing…). As I could see it at that time I had four options-

  1. Stay in Kingston. Find a new apartment and apply for critical care positions- time to challenge myself professionally!
  2. Move back to Ottawa and live with my parents. Look into Canada-wide travel nursing using Ottawa as my literal home base.
  3. Move to Toronto. Get a place with my sister, be closer to my uni friends, experience ‘life in the big city’. But this meant competing in a much tougher job market with only a relatively small resume to boast about.
  4. Look for jobs up North. My long-term ‘nursing life goals’ include working in a rural community and/or working with Native populations, and/or working for Doctors Without Borders so this idea is never really off the table.

I was having a really tough time with all these decisions since they were all quite viable and realistic. How fortunate I am to complain that I had too many choices!

I invested in all four options, praying for some sort of divine intervention to show me a clear path. Enlightenment came in the form of a call offering me a full-time position in the Intensive Care Combined Nursing at KGH. I gladly accepted, signed a new lease, and hunkered down for another year in Kingston knowing that my heart was bleeding to get out of Dodge.

As all summers do, it was Fall before I was even able to blink an eye. September flew by as I spent most of that month in the Balkans. October slipped past.  November trickled in, my heart was happy but the back burner of my mind was starting to stew the ideas of working/ living abroad. England, Australia, and New Zealand boiled to the top of desirable countries, and knowing people who had experience working in each of those countries, I started to put out some feelers. December brought me a bittersweet (though it tasted mostly disgustingly bitter at the time) encouragement to kick my butt into gear and start seriously looking for work options abroad.

After a great deal of contemplation my heart has been captured by New Zealand. I was recommended a travel agency called Tonix by a co-worker whose husband had formerly been partnered with them. I sent out that initial email expressing interest and got a lovely response back laying out the groundwork of what I needed to do in order to get on the road to living and working in New Zealand!!

So the goal is Fall 2016. I have a lot to do before then, endless amounts of paperworks and logistics needed to be done, but every journey starts with one step, right?

Here’s to the beginning of a (hopefully) grand adventure, follow along if you care to!