"Hello, Ex-Nurse!"

The first time I heard these words, I almost shook with fright.

What am I to be if not a nurse? Where do I go from here?

I made a decision during my 12 weeks of intensive outpatient therapy. I opted not to reinstate my nursing license. After a lot of soul searching and mulling the process over, I decided that nursing was no longer going to be a part of my future.

When I received my contract from the nursing board, they made some extraordinary demands of me; demands that I know I would never be able to comply with while attempting to get out into the workforce again. I thought long and hard about this decision and I decided that it would be in my best interest to let it go. The past 12 weeks in IOP taught me a lot about myself and the things I want to do with my future.

That’s when I came to realize that nursing was not a part of what I wanted to do with my life.

I called my counselor and told him this. He said he wasn’t really surprised, as this wasn’t the first time he heard me allude to this.

“It’s not in my heart any longer,” I told him.

And you know what? That’s okay. A long time ago, I had a first love. That first love was writing. It always has been. It always will be. While nursing was a challenge, it never fulfilled me the way my writing did. I have been published a number of times. When I walked away from that to pursue a career in nursing, I felt like I put a part of my soul away.

I am 43 years old. It is getting late in life not to pursue dreams.

With that said, I am going back to my dreams of writing for a newspaper. I have written editorials for magazines before. I have a vast collection of work that I have done over the years, work that I am very proud of. When I went to college a million years ago, my major was journalism.

With the support of my husband, I am going to pursue this dream of mine.

I realize that newspapers are a dying breed, so more than likely, it will mean writing for online news journals, but I am ready to take on this challenge. In the interim, I will probably work as a medical assistant in a doctors office, as I will no longer be able to represent myself as a nurse. But, having nights and weekends off will allow me to pursue this dream of mine. The flexibility will allow me to write creatively once more.

I am 97 days sober and I have never seen anything more clearly in my entire life. I am ready for this next stage, this next step. Careers are one thing, passions are quite another. I am ready to forgo my career and let my passion run rampant once again. It will be a dream come true to parlay my passion into a new career.

I don’t know if it is smart to start my life over at this juncture, but I can’t allow myself to look back and know I never tried.

One door closes. Another opens.

I am ready to step through this new door. It’s time.

12 thoughts on “"Hello, Ex-Nurse!"

  1. cadbury_vw

    I am sad that your nursing career is over (for now). I remember your descriptions of your effort and dedication while studying.

    I remember your wish to be a part of the number one male fantasy occupation ;-P

    That said,

    You are an awesome writer.

    I hope that your new direction will be fulfilling. I hope that the wider world and editors find you as great a read as I do.

    And no – it’s not to late to follow a dream.

    And, as always, the measure of a person is not how many times they fall, but how many times they get up.

    You have an amazing resilience. I admire your courage in facing all that you have through your life.

  2. Jack C. Young

    You are already a wonderful storyteller. Your opinions are honest and pungent. You will make a great journalist. And we’ll be there waiting to hear what you have to say. lol. 🙂

  3. Big Pissy

    Oh, Honey…..I’m sorry that your nursing career is over b/c I know how hard you worked to be a nurse and how much you loved helping people.

    Now it sounds like your heart is leading you down another path.

    You know I wish you nothing but the best of luck on that journey.


  4. MB

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your writing career.

    I recently got laid off after working in the legal field for 26 years. Now I’m trying to figure out what I really want to be when I grow up.

  5. CP

    You know, I thought I would be sad about ending my nursing career, but I’m really not. It actually feels like a weight has been lifted. I got into it for all the wrong reasons. However, I feel like my writing is going to head in the direction of mental health and addiction. So, in some aspect, I am taking my nursing knowledge with me on this path. I am pretty excited about this new chapter in my life.

    Sobriety has changed EVERYTHING.

    Cad – I remember you cheering me on along the way. You were a big fan! I am still rooting for you, as always.

    jst – I appreciate the thought. Thank you!

    Jack – Thank you. That makes me feel really good…and encouraged!

    Rachel – Oh, just try to get me to keep quiet about it! LOL

    Pissy – Nothing to be sorry about. I have already decided that I can use my writing for advocacy purposes, so it may still help someone along the way. The more I think things through, the brighter the picture becomes. It’s going to be an adventure, for sure! Thank you, Doll! You’ve always been a great friend.


  6. CP

    MB – I am so sorry about you getting laid off. These economic times are so rough. But, this may be the beginning of something wonderful for your future! Bigger and better things!


  7. MB

    I know exactly what you mean when you say “a weight has been lifted.” I was insulted and upset about how I got laid off but felt nothing but relief walking out those doors knowing I never have to see those a$$holes again. Yes, I believe bigger and better things are in store for both of us. Enjoy!

  8. BettyBoo

    Always enjoying whatever you’ve written, even if the issue itself was shocking, or moving, or what else. You have always been able to make me glued to my computer, feeling all the emotions you went through, laughing about all the stories you could tell through all the stuff happening in your life, feeling your strength. You are such a natural story teller, and a marvellous writer! I can only be happy that soon we will be able to even read more from you!

  9. vw

    CP, you don’t know me but I’m a long time fan and lurker, and I just wanted to say it’s INSPIRING that you’re following your dreams! Go you! And many congratulations on getting sober — that’s a huge accomplishment. I’ve always been inspired by your life stories and your honesty in relating them. Thank you for sharing all that you do — you’ve helped and inspired countless people who you don’t even know. 🙂


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