So, I've said for years that my dream job is to work Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, with the ability to have a focus on palliative and hospice care worked into that population. In New England, the closest children's hospital was nearly 1.5 hours away, but if I was ever going to get back to pediatric practice, it was going to become necessary. Here in the south, the nearest pediatric hospital is only slightly closer, but the winters are more mild. So, I figured down the road, when I was ready to stop denying that I was born to be a pediatric nurse, I would look that direction for a job, in the hopes that if I got my foot in the door somewhere, then eventually I could work my way into the Oncology/Hematology area where I really want to be.
It took several months to get my licensure transferred to my new state. I had this identical problem when I moved to New England and I now believe the slowdown is the state that I took my board exams in. Only about half of the US states have a compact agreement for nurses, in all other states, you have to apply for what is called licensure by endorsement. In each state that I have had to do that, I am required to have a verification from the state I was most recently (and actively) licensed in sent to the new state. However, I am forever required to also have a form from the state where I took my board exams. Once my licensure was issued for this new state, several issues came up with the children in March and I was unable to work at looking for a job until a week ago.
Despite working a very normal looking, traditional nursing position for a year, most of my background is very non-traditional. I'm skilled and I am terrific at what I do. However, if you are looking for a job where I clocked in, worked my shift, and then took my paycheck home, you simply aren't going to find that. Consequently, I have not heard back yet from the local positions that I applied for, and I applied for every per diem and float pool position that any of the local hospitals have advertised. Two days ago, on a lark, I went to the children's hospital to look at what positions they had open right now.
They had a per diem night shift position on the peds floor. I thought about it for a minute and decided that if working night shift so I don't have to accommodate childcare, I can totally to the commute, so I applied. Then I happened to look at their list again. They have a per diem position in their Pediatric Oncology/Hematology infusion center they are looking for a nurse to hire. This....this is my DREAM JOB. This is the job I thought I would have to work my wait to get to, the job that was outside of my reach because I can only work per diem while I'm in grad school. And, I fit every qualification they want....except I am not chemo certified.
I am willing to get chemo certified, and I thought that perhaps my background and strengths in infusions, in central lines, in pediatric hematology and in hospice care would boast my chances over that missing chemo certification. I figured if I got past the screening, I would explain to them that I was supposed to get that certification in December but I knew the ethical thing was to not hold off on giving my resignation and letting my employer pay for that training and then quit two weeks later. I decided the ethical response was to give my manager a chance to put someone else into that slot so they could do the work after I left. So, I gave up being chemo certified before moving to do the right thing. I didn't honestly think I would get anywhere with this application. At most, I figured it would get my name to this department and they would start seeing my name repeatedly and with time they would eventually talk to me and see how passionate I am about this specialty.
I cannot describe the panic and the excitement to open my email 36 hours later and find an email asking me to call the nursing recruiter and set up a job interview. It's not a job yet. I still might not get this job. However, they know I am not chemo certified and they still want to interview me, so they must be willing to at least consider paying to get a new hire certified. This job....it's THE job I've wanted. It's THE job of my dreams, the one I wanted more than anything, the one that is my long-term career goal. If I could convince them that I am perfect for this job, I could work it for the years I am in graduate school, and then I would be known and established to try to get a nurse practitioner job with them when I was done. It feels too good to be true!