excelsior, adjective, Latin. 1. ever upward

I am constantly surprising myself with what I find motivating.

2014 and into early 2015 were one big professional rut – constantly doubting myself, constantly searching for better and asking myself, What do I want to do with my life?  I hear this is called a quarter life crisis.  I suspect I’ve been having this quarter life crisis for quite a while.

Since graduating nursing school life has not been easy like I honestly imagined it would be.  From being super unhappy in my first nursing job to only being able to work part-time at my second nursing job because of the low census to learning of all of the politics that come with working in a for-profit healthcare system at my third job.  Talk about eye opening experiences.

Thus far in my short year and a half of being a nurse I have worked in home health, acute care and eating disorder recovery.  Last week I began my new job at a major level 1 trauma center downtown.  It’s nicknamed “the poor people’s hospital” because of the demographics of the people it primarily serves – minorities, homeless, immigrants, uninsured… but it also serves its employees, city and government workers, the young population who lives downtown and of course it’s EMS team brings in people from all over Denver metro and it also has one of the only major eating disorder units for some of the most acute patients in the country.  On my first day on the unit I took care of an old homeless man who had lost his house 6 months prior to coming to us because of his addiction.  He teared up when it came time to discharge him out into the cold, snowy Denver night and he stated,  “I just want to get better.”  It broke my heart…. but it also reaffirmed every desire I’ve ever had to work at this big downtown hospital.  I AM that nurse who wants to take care of those patients at the “poor people’s hospital”.

I submitted my applications for a couple Masters programs last week.  They’re both online only programs except for the required clinical/practicum hours.  Already being in a big hospital environment, mingling with nurses of all specialties and degrees, I’ve felt that familiar pull to continue my education.  To move forward…

Excelsior is one of my favorite words… in means ever upward, or onward and upward…

So bits and pieces of a plan has been in my mind for several months but has finally come together over the past few weeks.  Apply to a Masters in Nursing program, utilize hospital tuition reimbursement from my regularly scheduled full time job (free money for my graduate degree? Yes please!) and take advantage of being an unmarried woman on my own because let me tell you, after the initial shock of turning 29 I’ve totally come to embrace my lack of dependents.  This is my life and I can do with it as I choose.  Right now I’m going to focus on my career and am finally at this place where I can look at my life and say – I am proud of where I am and proud of where I am headed.  Bring on being a graduate student ❤

Or maybe I can just say this:

grad school

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