When I first started my doctoral education (or “PhD school” as my Mom likes to call it), everyone seemed to know what their dissertation was going to be on but me. I felt like I should have a little more time to figure it out…I mean, after all, if I already knew how to do this research stuff, I wouldn’t need to go back to school right? It reminded me of when I started nursing school and I was trying to figure out what kind of nurse I wanted to be. Some students seemed to have a divine revelation of what their RN destiny would and should be. Me on the other hand? I couldn’t figure it out…Med-Surg? OR? Peds? Psych? ICU? ER?
I remember my first clinical rotation on a medical-surgical floor…that was interesting, and I learned a lot, but it was missing something for me. As the med-surg rotations became increasingly difficult, I still felt like the pace wasn’t quite right; something still wasn’t fitting. The pediatric rotation was fun but I couldn’t imagine dealing with little ones all day. Labor & Delivery—EEK! That killed me and stalled any thoughts of procreation for quite a while. Psych was interesting, even more interesting when a patient threw a chair through a wall during group therapy.
But still, like Goldilocks, the porridge wasn’t the right temperature. Then I did my leadership rotation in the ER and something went BOOM!—this is it. It was chaotic, it was loud, it was bright, it was everything I wanted in a workplace. My preceptor at the time (now my boss!) told me that she didn’t take new graduate nurses in the ER and I was crushed. But I persevered and worked hard throughout the rotation and by the end, she offered me a job. It had everything, Med-Surg, Psych, ICU, Trauma and NO Babies! I haven’t left since, I can’t imagine a better fit for me. Your fit is out there…just keep your mind open and your eyes wide!