To save you from the sob story that I had previously typed up, I’ll try to get to the point with this one. But I can’t promise I’ll get there quickly.
The main academic portion of nursing school ends in a week & a half on Friday, May 10th. I graduate on Saturday, May 11th. My mom & dad are flying in and I.Cannot.Wait. I have a million and one things to do before now and next Friday including:
-Three days (30 hours) of OB clinical rotation in Casper this Wednesday – Friday
-Countless important assignments, exams, quizzes & papers to write with Thursday, Friday and Sunday of this week deadlines.
-A full week of class on campus in Laramie next Monday-Friday.
-A Yankees game in Denver that same week on Wednesday. Yep, my boys are coming to town Tues-Thurs!!! And yep, this means I’ll be doing a heck of a lot of driving.
-Picking mom up from the airport on Thursday night.
-Back to campus for a final exam Friday morning & meetings Friday afternoon.
-Picking Dad up from the airport on Friday afternoon.
Oh, and then I graduate on Saturday, spend the day with Andrew’s family & mine on Sunday, drop mom off at the airport Monday, head 2.5 hours West to Glenwood Springs, Co afterwards to spend the night & hike Hanging Lake with dad on Tuesday, pack up my entire life & put it all in storage on Tuesday night, drop dad off at the airport for his flight home Wednesday morning. And then I will either jet off to Phoenix to visit my best friend, California to visit the family for a few days and go to Bay to Breakers or maybe I’ll just stay in Colorado and rest easy. But probably not. Honestly, I need a VACATION and I have a huge flight credit that is just begging to be used.
And then starting May 20th, my personal life is on hold for another 12 weeks as I work 36 hours per week with a nurse, learning to become a real nurse, in a hospital in Casper.
Let me explain:
After our academic portion of nursing school is over and we graduate, we still have a 12 week summer practicum to complete that consists of 470 hours of clinical time before we are finally, FINALLY, COMPLETELY, finished on August 9th. If you recall, one of the major reasons I moved to the ranch was to be closer to Cheyenne, which is where we were told from the beginning would be a great choice for our clinical practicum. Well, tis’ not so. The nursing program threw another wrench into my life plans a few weeks ago and decided to nix the Cheyenne summer practicum location because of complications beyond their control and instead send all of us who were set on Cheyenne to various other places throughout the state. My location is Casper.
Here is what I do know about getting Casper so far:
-Casper is a 3.5 hour drive, without stopping, from where I live.
-I have been placed at a neurological & spine based regional hospital. It’s private. It’s nice. The nurse to patient ratio is lower than the bigger, main hospital (where we’ve been doing our clinical rotations this and last semester) and everyone you talk to has excellent things to say about it. I, however, have never stepped foot inside. I’ll update you once I have.
-I cannot commute & live in a hotel any longer. The past 4 weeks of doing this have almost done me in.
-So I’m moving out of the ranch and…. here goes…. (so sad to utter these words) am moving to Casper for the summer.
-I found a 2 bedroom house to rent in town. A teacher at the local college owns it and she’s young and wants to get the heck out of Casper for the summer so she’s renting her place. I will have a roommate who is just beginning occupational therapy grad school & she’s outdoorsy and also from Colorado. I, however, haven’t met her yet, but will update once I have.
-COPPER GETS TO COME WITH! I don’t have to be apart from my boy any longer!!! All that’s required is a $200 deposit and we’re set. Thank you, God. It’s been so hard going through life without my best furry friend by my side every day.
-I will attempt to drive back to Colorado and stay with Andrew whenever I have three days on, four days off. But, I am not guaranteed to ever have three days on, four days off – but one can only hope.
-Supposedly those of us (there are 4-6) who got this specific hospital for placement will spend 4 weeks in PACU (Post-Op), 4 weeks on the regular floor and 4 weeks in the ICU. But, I don’t know this to be true yet, so I’ll update you when I do.
So while I am sad about not being able to live in my beloved Colorado primarily for the summer, I guess it’s a change of pace. Again. And the opportunity to be placed outside my comfort zone, again, and hopefully thrive. But you can also bet I will be putting even more miles on the Subaru by driving from Casper to Colorado as often as possible…. nothing compares to summertime in Colorado and I do not want to miss it. What will help is that aside from studying for the NCLEX and a practicum-based assignment – I will NOT be in classes. I will be able to focus more on actually learning about nursing MY way, and working as a nurse, than on time consuming assignments that in many cases aren’t helpful. And – I will have some free time to actually live life.
So, here goes…. almost finished with one of life’s craziest & challenging adventures… and on to the next.
My partner in life sitting at my feet as I type this