“You should keep a blog while you’re gone!”

Well… I do have one but I am the most neglectful blog mother ever, leaving my poor blog to its own devices for months at a time. I am sure by this time it is now a feral creature, running amok on the internet with no parental contribution or guidance.

The casual suggestion to write a blog from a coworker reminded me of my rough and emaciated little blog. With some big changes having happened since the last time I posted, it is perhaps time to feed my little monster and give it some direction.

For two weeks in September I was gone off to Portugal with my sister for a little gallivanting and indulging in my favourite hobby of travelling. My wonderful liaison Kate with Tonix Health Recruitment had been busy seeking out job opportunities for me in Auckland. The original plan had fallen through and Kate had therefore sent my CV off to South Cross Hospital in North Harbour. My school of nursing and ONA were filling out the required paperwork and shipping them off to the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ).

Southern Cross got back to Kate, who got back to me, and an interview was set-up! Normally interviews don’t cause me much anxiety, but the idea of speaking to someone on the other side of the country, with an 18-hour time difference, brought me a terrible case of the butterflies. At the time I didn’t have WIFI so I headed over to a friend’s house. Conveniently Southern Cross was having WIFI issues of their own so we settled for a phone interview, and I was able to grimace and squirm my way through the questions without having to be seen on video. Liisa, the manager who did my interview, was super lovely (a description that I am sure I will be attributing to most Kiwis once I meet them!) and the interview felt casual and not at all intimidating. Without patting myself too much on the back, I felt pretty well about how the interview had gone! Liisa then just had to contact my references and the rest would hopefully be on its merry way!

As all things go, it took a little while to get in touch with both my references but I guess I got the gold star on my chart and Liisa was “very happy to take the next step and ask [me] to fill in their application for employment forms”! *insert happy dance*

The next step was to figure out which visa I should apply for… I was originally planning on a working holiday visa, but since I was being offered a permanent job this option was off the list. Kate, like the amazing angel she has been through all of this, of course pulled through again and figured out I could apply for a work to residency visa under an accredited employer! Time to get the wheels grinding again and get all my requirements sorted out for this visa!

I am required to have-

  1. Police clearance
  2. Proof of registration (papers still being processed by NZNC)
  3. A physical through a NZIS panel doctor

First two are easy peasy. The last one is not difficult, just expensive…

$400 for the medical, $80 for a chest xray, and $50 for bloodwork. Whoever said you can’t buy happiness wasn’t planning on immigrating to New Zealand.

With Christmas holidays rapidly approaching (9 days until Christmas?!) I know everything will be grinding to a halt in terms of paper work and logistics…

I put my required 60 days notice in for my apartment, so I am officially to vacate January 31… And then on Tuesday I made the incredibly difficult decision to put in my notice for work. My last day of employment will be January 8, coming off nites, and then ‘funemployment’ until I leave for NZ! The script for the novel that is my Kingston Life has all of the plot fleshed out, with deadlines and clear punctuation now noted. Kingston has been my home for 7.5 years, it will be an utterly heartbreaking finale…

News travels fast, and many people are coming up to me and asking “I heard you’re leaving?!”. I feel like I should make up cue cards as the questions all run along the same (now) predictable lines- “Why are you leaving?!” “How long are you going for?” “You don’t know anyone over there?!” “What will you do when you get back?” (my least favourite question since I haven’t even left yet, let alone figured out what I will be doing tomorrow…). I get a lot of people telling me I am so brave, making a huge leap to the other side of the world to a place I have never seen, to a place where I know no one. IF only they knew how often I have found myself bursting into tears, or that my usual hit-the-pillow-and-off-to-sleepland bedtime routine is now tortured by anxious and worried thoughts, “What am I doing? Am I making a huge mistake? How can I possibly leave everyone, everything behind?”

I seek reassurance in beautiful pictures of NZ found through social media (who knew Instagram and Pinterest could become comfort blankets?) and hilarious posts from Air New Zealand’s Twitter page. I am bolstered by people’s awe and amazement that I am going to be living in the country that everyone has always dreamed of visiting. The encouraging words are always much appreciated, and people’s interest in my grand adventure is a bittersweet treat as I have never liked being the centre of attention but I am grateful that people are so genuinely interested in my well being and future.

Since my wee, little blog has now been given the TLC it so desperately required I can probably leave it to its devices for another little bit. With 2016’s expiry date also looming in the future, I can happily and confidently say that I pretty much accomplished my “resolution” for this year, though it will just be a bit belated… MAKE THE BIG MOVE!

Merry Christmas, and may your 2017 be the grand adventure you have always been seeking!


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!