Thursday, April 19, 2012

Repost: Mississippi, Here I Come!

     This post is a re-post, written in January 2012, from a blog I contribute to, a way to keep in touch with my former classmates. I want to make my blog more about things happening in my life as well as thoughts and ponderings, so here is a bridge.
     So I think most of you have heard by now via Facebook that I got a job! I wanted to write a post to update you, though, to give you guys the full story.

     As you know from my previous post back in September, I have been applying to jobs and was turned down by the military. I pretty much just applied everywhere, barely noticing where I was applying except to keep track of how many apps I was putting in. I found that helped me feel productive while I was getting nothing back but rejection emails.
     In November, I got a phone call from a hospital in Greenville, Mississippi. At that point, the positive responses I had had were an in-person interview with CHOC and two phone interviews with other out of state hospitals. All of them had said no. This hospital, Delta Regional Medical Center, wanted me to come out for an interview. In the first conversation, the concern was raised that I was not from the rural South, and might come out to start a job and then leave after less than a year. (They have had problems with losing new grads to bigger cities after 3-6 months.) I was hesitant to spend the money to go out there, but I had few options and couldn't be picky.

     I planned a trip for the first week of December, and basically hoped for ANYONE else to offer me a job so I wouldn't have to go on my trip. I was so not interested in moving to a small town in Mississippi if I had the choice to be... well, nearly anywhere else. It didn't happen, so I left for my trip, anxious but trying to see all the positives about Greenville.

     When I got there, I felt overwhelmingly sad. This is a community that has been hit hard by the recession, with businesses closed on nearly every block and an unemployment rate of 13.5%, significantly higher than national average. That day, I visited apartments and stumbled upon a small nature preserve. I sat there and prayed and processed and it basically hit me, "Maybe this is why I have my public health nursing certification". I still felt sad, but almost instantly passionate about making a difference in this community, and ready to pour into it everything I learned from our community health semester. That night, I talked to Andrew [my husband] and he was right on the same page with me, ready to go for this adventure if that was what God had for us, seeing it as a mission field.

     The next day, I interviewed with the director of Med-Surg, the director of ICU, and the CNO (no pressure!). They all went well and I was amazed at how God gave me such a calm where before had been so much anxiety. I flew home that night and the next day I got a phone call. Not only did they offer me a job, but both departments had given good feedback so they let me choose! I chose the ICU. They have been very understanding about the license transfer process and me getting married, so they are letting me start after the wedding, and didn't even tie me to a specific start date!

     So here we are, just over a month from my wedding, and a move across country only 2 days after that. (Literally, we're getting married on Saturday and leaving Monday! Aah!) Andrew is amazingly supportive, just wants me to get this experience even though his job prospects there are limited and grad school options nonexistent. Since we should be able to do fine on my salary alone (Thank the Lord for lower cost of living! Also, Andrew has NO school debt, incredibly.), he is going to be looking for internship or volunteer opportunities related to his field, but really just planning to volunteer wherever there are needs, full-time.

     We are getting very excited about this new adventure, and I'm thrilled to finally have a job, and in the ICU at that! I'm glad to be just three hours from Clara and Luis as well as Cory and Joe. I am applying to a federal loan repayment program because Delta Regional meets the requirements, so please pray for me to get accepted as I could have 60% of my loans paid for a 2-year commitment! Oh, and I will most definitely have a Southern accent in about 2 days since I started to pick it up while I was there for not even 36 hours!

So that's the long version of what's new in my life.

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