I know I’m a little late, but Happy Nurses Day to all those esteemed Nurses and Nursing Students and Aides out there.

Yes … I know that last Wednesday was the start of Nurses Week, but if you recall from last year … the actual day for Nurses is on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. And that day is/was today, the 12th of May.

Since usually the first couple weeks in May I use Nurses Week as a distraction for another “holiday” in May, I’m finding it quite ironic that I ended up being okay with Mother’s Day this year.

It’s been a really strange Nurses Week this year for obvious reasons. Seeing that I’m currently not employed, it’s not that I’ve had any reason to celebrate.

I know, I know … I can hear y’all asking why I’m not already employed elsewhere … especially since RN’s are in “high demand” all the time. Well, it’s because of the type of career I’ve chosen with my Nursing Degree.

I could go back to the hospital and be a “Floor Nurse” again; but there are a couple things that have me hesitant to do this. First of all, it’s been well over ten years since I’ve done any type of bedside nursing (unless you count taking care of a sick Hubby … ). And in just that amount of time, the acuity of care that one patient requires has more than quadrupled. I’m pretty sure that I can no longer keep up with the amount of physical and mental work it takes to work in the “war zones.” (And trust me … any given day can be as chaotic as a war zone!)

Besides the lack of physical stamina (and probably knowledge of new technology), the other reason I’m fearful to go back to the floors is because of a previous back injury. While I’m pretty sure I’m perfectly fine with lifting things greater than 50 lbs now, a year after my disk surgery I was limited to lifting no more than 25 lbs. I’m just incredibly terrified that if I do any constant lifting on a daily basis, I will re-injure myself. So yeah, heavy lifting is my other fear.

Instead, I’m looking for jobs that fit my career as an RN Case Manager; something that I’m more versed and comfortable at. And since I’ve had lots of supervisory experience, I’m also looking for things within Case Management where I can utilize those talents as well.

So on my job search, I’ve stumbled on quite a few positions I’m interested. All from the various states that I’ve been looking at. (Uhm, that would be IL, MI, OR and WA.) Surprisingly, I already received two phone calls from West Coast locations … I definitely thought that wouldn’t happen so quickly.

And while Hubby & I would love to jump ship and move straight away to Oregon or Washington … the reality is that we still have a house in Michigan and rent through August in Illinois. So moving to the West Coast now would only put us further behind financially. But the good thing is that I’ve received good contacts and recruiters looking for RN Case Managers in Portland and Seattle … so when we’re ready to move, I’ll have someone to contact.

Then there’s two other positions that have definitely piqued my interest. Both are opportunities that would allow me to be more flexible in where I live. One of them is a leadership role for another health insurance company that would have me supervising a staff of work-at-home employees … the benefit of which means that I could also work from home. A definite plus; especially if we need to move out of Chicago by the time our lease runs out in August.

And since the responsibilities of this job would be similar to what I was previously doing before my early departure from the last company, I’m guessing my learning curve won’t be as severe. (Knock on wood.) I’ve already heard from the Hiring Manager for this position and hope to have an interview scheduled with the actual department that’s hiring soon.

The other opportunity is one that I really really like. It’s one that I had thought about transitioning to do in my previous job back in Michigan, but the opportunity never came up; at least locally. And the reason I was interested in moving over to this career is because it combined my love of clinical knowledge and my love of teaching. So right there were two things that had me automatically applying for the job when I first saw the on-line posting.

Yes, this is ME as a Student Nurse

The other one that has me wanting this job is the fact that I can pretty much live anywhere I want to, as long as I was close to any major airport. So again, I could work out of Chicago or Michigan … or even Seattle or Portland, once we get out that way. The only downside would be the amount of traveling I’d have to do during the week; but hey … at least I don’t have kids to worry about! (The irony does not escape me.) I’ve also heard back from this company and am hoping for an interview soon.

So please, oh internet buddies … if any of you have a direct line with the Man Upstairs, I’d really appreciate it if you could put a good word in for me. Because this second (going on third) week of unemployment is starting to get old.