Have You Checked Your Nursing Life?

Most of us might think that life isn’t hard especially if we are being supported by our parents all the way. In all that we do and in all that we wanted, they are there, always on our side and never let us fall in our endeavours. We are very lucky if we have the kind of parents who can provide us emotionally and financially. Then maybe you’ll say, “Why do I need to find a job when all I ever wanted is given if I ask for it?” That’s where maturity gets  into the picture.

I just turned twenty-two last 31st of December 2011. I graduated last March 2010 and after taking my licensure exam in December 2010, the result was released on February which was one of the happiest and proudest day of my life and my family as well, when I saw my name on the list of the passers. When I was busy reviewing for my boards and busy hanging out with my friends at the same time, I never really thought of the things I will be doing after the board. My family had plans for me when I entered college and took up nursing. I already admitted to myself that I no longer have the free will to choose what to do after college. It was already planned that after passing the board exam, I will get all the necessary trainings and go abroad.

Before the board results were released I asked permission from my family that I wanted to find a job in Manila. I was in Iloilo back then and that was December 2010. My aunt, who generously provided my one month vacation allowed me to go to Manila but only for a vacation. They wouldn’t let me find a job outside medical field. I was very disappointed. You’re very enthusiastic and although you have the feeling that you wanted to try other options, spread your wings and explore world’s horizon, they just could not give it to you. Why?! My cousin who’s of my age is already earning and living independently that time and I was so envious of her. I was very eager to work back then yet I have always been the good daughter. I don’t want them to be disappointed of me so I just shut my mouth. I came home by February and after knowing that I passed the exam, I processed my requirements for the oath taking and started to take all the trainings needed to be able to apply as a volunteer nurse. They gave me everything I needed. But at the end of the day, there’s this empty feeling that I am not cut for this. That I am unhappy. I can see my batch mates earning for themselves, already bought a car and you are just there, insecurity kills you that although your family gives you what you needed it just boils down to the fact that you’re unemployed. You don’t have a job and you’re a big bummer. It’s not something you can be proud of and tell everybody that “Hey! I’m just too lucky that I don’t need to find a job just like you because my parents are giving me all I wanted.” How embarrassing!

It wasn’t easy to apply for nurse volunteer positions in hospitals. Aside from the fact that you need to submit a lot of requirements, you also need to prepare to spend another thousand for those trainings. It took a lot of courage (a year) to convince my family to let me work in Manila. Try any job and let me live independently. After noticing that I am just hanging out with my friends and is unproductive, they eventually said yes. I feel so euphoric that time. The kind of feeling that you can’t believe that soon, you’ll be on your own and free! I was on my way to the airport when one of my aunt texted me “With freedom comes great responsibility”. I laughed and was close to text her back that “Time is gold”. I was just so happy. But after a few days of living in Manila, everything sank in. My aunt’s words came flashing back in my mind like a pirated cd. Gone were my princess life where everything was served. I never did any chores at home. I don’t do the laundry for my clothes, wash the dishes, clean the house, and cook my food. And I have to do everything here in Manila because this is what I wanted, my independence. And what more? Facing rejections. I haven’t been rejected before and it took a lot of courage for me not to cry and feel bad when the company I was applying for rejected my capabilities. Who said it was easy to find a job? No one. And for us nursing graduate, there are limited jobs that are being offered outside our field so you must have the edge to ace it.

Year 2006, during my high school days, nursing courses were in demand and most parents wanted their children to take nursing. That is why there were lots of nursing students who were just forced to take the said course. And sadly, I belong to that category too. And the essence of the profession that it is one of the noblest professions because of love and service nurses give to their patients, is starting to fade already. Most of us took nursing because of its promises of earning more abroad not because we wanted to serve our countrymen. Reality bites. There are lots of nurses that are unemployed and underemployed in our country and the figure just keeps on growing each school year. We are now a hopeless case and even if we try to work outside our field, more often than not, we aren’t accepted because of our course. That is based on experience, by the way. I just hope that there are companies and hospitals out there who will give us the chance to prove our worth. For some hospitals, don’t just base it on board rating and grades alone, give us chance to prove our skills and help us maximize them because I believe that some may be good on theories but are poor on skills. For some companies, I believe that we nurses are flexible, trainable and can work under pressure, so why not give us chance to prove it? I hope I somehow inspire some of you. …

Photo credit: become-a-nurse-now.com

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  • Thanks. It’s good that there are blogs that allows you to be heard. 🙂

  • Joy

    hi…… im also a nurse…magka batch tau kumuha ng board sa iloilo…happy to know na we have the same opinion… yeah you’re right..living in manila is not that easy..I’ve worked as office staff sa isang company dito for six months..after that..i Guess, They’ve found out that Im an RN.. naging company nurse aq.. Sa kabila ng lahat… you should be grateful… kmi nagtatrabaho para makapag ipon… para makapag training…. pero ikaw..wala ung problema in terms of financial aspect.. sila pa ang pumipilit sau… pero naiintindhan kita… cguro…hindi pa tlaga tym or God has other plans 4 u…bsta be strong….Nurses can make it!

    • dhan

      Hello Joy! Thanks for the response. You know what, I don’t really wanna be a nurse before but life here in Manila has taught me a lot of things and sort my priorities and goals in life. I am very grateful that I have the kind of family who can support me financially. Lahat tayo my kanya-kanyang pinagdadaanan. Kanya kanyang gravity ng hardships and trials and also some time of confusions. But right now, masaya akong sabihin na excited na akong mgduty uli sa hospital. Siguro ngregret ako sa time nung college where in I have wasted my time blaming my family kung bakit ngnursing ako. Kasi hindi ako masyadong ngstrive hard sa studies ko, even sa boards but I know it’s not too late. I am now embracing my career wholeheartedly because I know God has good plans for me. Kasi kung hindi rn naman sana para sakin ang nursing bakit pa Niya ako pinapasa db? Bakit pa ako NURSE ngayon? Sana tuloy2 na to. Baka my alam kayong pwedeng pngpart time job jan while im on training?hahaha. SALAMAT PO! 🙂

  • Hi joy..thats right shes very much lucky na kaya nya makapagtraining.we are on the same ground na nagiipon para makapagtraining. yah nurses can make it!

    • dhan

      Wag kang mag-alala emily. Don’t stop dreaming and reaching for your goals in life. Cause I believe that one day, you’re going to live your dreams for real. Just believe. Cause nobody else will believe in you if you yourself doesn’t believe that you can. Have faith always! Godbless! 🙂

  • airhype

    Hi, I am a great fan of your works, and I am eager to read more about the undertakings that you face in life.

    I have to agree with what you said about graduates who still depend on their parents, with not much of an effort in looking out for themselves. Your perseverance to be independent despite your parent’s refusal is highly commendable. I know it might have took a lot from you to be deviate from what they say is right for you, yet your move was not merely bold but also something to be looked up to.

    There has been a trend in human resourcing to deny nursing graduates in their institutions mainly because most nurses tend to be a short stay. Employees who come and go are more of a liability than of an asset. You have to bear in mind that their being that stereotyping is a matter of “good business,” and that is what you need to prove wrong when you apply to them.

    For once, when you submit your applications, make sure that it would look as though you would want to stay with the company for a very long time. Review your papers for comprehensiveness, grammar, neatness of the whole file, etc. A friend told me that you should stay at least a year or two, but I don’t know. We are both on the same road anyway, and who am I to be that sure.

    Lastly, do not deny yourself the opportunity of other things because you were nailed, so to speak, on a particular aspect in your life. History is a witness to many great people who have become happy and successful because they have tread the path that they have chosen for themselves. You are not nailed unto your nursing career, nevertheless, you should carry your cross wholeheartedly. That means that you should take the problems that you face as a challenge and an opportunity while to go along with the road that leads you to what you want for yourself.

    Steve Jobs says that, “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life’s gonna hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love—and that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.”

    I wish you all the best in your journey through life. God bless you!

    • dhan

      Firstly, thanks for dropping by my post and take time to read it. Wow! I am deeply moved by your words. They’re an eye-opener to me somehow. I must admit, there were a lot of “what ifs” that I thought every now and then, especially when I’m alone, thinking. But then again I told myself that I have to live today, learn from my past experiences and prepare for my future battles. I know, “Madami pa akong kakainin na bigas”. But I am ready to face all of the trials that would come on my way. I have to admit, that right now, I am not really sure if I am starting to love my profession because I am excited to start my hospital duty or this might just be because its been a year or so that I haven’t work on the field. Nevertheless, I am happy that somehow, I have set my priorities and goals. Somehow. I just feel that I am already walking on the right track. And I know that He’s always there to guide me in all of my endeavors, aside from my ever supportive family. Thanks for the advice. And you said you’re my fan? Haha! I don’t even know I have one. Thanks for telling me! It’s refreshing. Haha! I wish you all the best in life as well. Godbless to us all nurses! ^_^

  • Jem

    Hi fellow nurse na napunta kung saan man… nyahaha!

    Probably, I got it worse than you did. I was a graduate and was working for a big company when I was forced to take up nursing. Three years of experience down the drain just to get a nursing diploma (which is stocked some where in this house), a license (used only as a valid ID together with my driver’s license), and an “RN” title (which I haven’t written down on documents for it’s hard enough as it is to fit my long name on the dotted line).

    So I take it that you haven’t gotten any luck in getting a job on a different field. But if you do decide to venture out of the practice, tip on getting through interviews? Use what you have learned. Interviewers do not only take into account the course you’ve taken but also the skills that you have. If you highlight your skills rather than the “might be a liability” part, the more they may become interested.

    Anyway, since you are in the biz now. I might as well wish you luck! Remember nurses aren’t “glorifed yaya’s/slaves.” We are the unsung heroes of them hospital beds. Over worked and underpaid. (which reminds me, i have to renew my licence…)

    • dhan

      Thanks for the advice Jem. Sorry it took me so long to reply. 🙂

      What you said means a lot. I hope we’ll both be successful in our chosen field. Aja and kudos! 😉