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First Day

November 5, 2011

The first day finally arrived and there I was starting my first job as an RN after the year-long application process filled with excitement, frustration, doubt, adrenaline and more. During my senior year most of my time was spent writing my thesis, completing my preceptorship,  and studying for the boards. The feeling was surreal to be standing outside the “employee only” entrance to the hospital where a  sign read, “NEW EMPLOYEES THIS WAY”  on a giant easel just inside the sliding double doors.

As I made my way through the doors, I quickly smelled the oh-so-familiar hospital scent of coffee, chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese and central heating systems. Following the signs in and around a corner, I made my way past a cafeteria and into a large conference room filled with people of all ages timidly chatting with one another while sipping coffees and eating croissants. I thought to myself, “JACKPOT! Free food!” Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve sat through my fair share of “first day welcome speeches.”  In fact, I’m willing to venture a guess that most of us have had these experiences. Don’t get me wrong, listening to guest speakers and learning is always valuable, but occasionally, welcome speeches of any sort can sometimes feel redundant, no matter how seemingly important they are. That being said, the free food was a definite plus and a total bonus for being required to listen to HR go on and on and on about new employee benefits, the mission statement and a very special “how to” seminar on using our new email accounts, which definitely was helpful, but at this point in time all I wanted was to start taking care of patients already!

The whole morning of that ever-so-anticipated first day I thought I had figured everything out. Amidst the excitement that I had felt for weeks prior to this day, I began feeling some serious apprehension.  I assumed  making friends would be hard, that no one would like me,  that I would be bored, that I would regret my decision to move out of state for this job, and worst of all that I would realize in the 8 hours of my first day in New Employee Orientation that, “no thank you, nursing isn’t actually for me.” But hey, when all else fails,  at least there is the free food, right?

I’ll tell you what though,  I quickly realized that “Making friends is actually easy!” and “Yes, people do like me!” and “No, I’m not bored because I have so much to learn,” and incidentally, “Of course nursing is for me, how could I think otherwise?” Unfortunately I never realized sooner that I was getting my very own fresh start, a new beginning. When this lightbulb lit up inside my brain, I knew I had made the right decision and for the first time in a very long while I put my sarcasm and cynicism to rest and began letting myself enjoy my first official day as an RN.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Katharine permalink
    November 14, 2011 9:25 pm

    You are one of the most inspiring women I know and I am proud to call you my cousin. Love you with all my heart.

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