Thirteen Years After: My Nursing Journey

Time went by so fast, and 13 years have passed. I passed my licensure exam in nursing in the Philippines last 2009. Since then, a lot has happened, and with that, my experience varied significantly. This is the focus of this blogpost.

The day after I pass the exam.

I remember that day. I was quite busy. Many expressed their congratulations. It is because I just did not pass the exam, I became somehow the talk-of-the-town instantly. Well, that will be noted in another blogpost later on. However, I proceeded with the plan of the day. I was helping nursing students in their thesis. It was actually a work that is in the "graysone" of things. We were actually doing most of the things for them - from revising to coaching for their thesis defense for a price. The payment we received was cheap compared to the quality of research paper we produced in a short time. I continued with that work for few months. So, I can say immersed myself in research, and fundamentally that shaped every job I had taken afterwards.

Accelerated progress thereafter.

Because I somehow got attention after passing the exam, a lot of doors opened for me. I immediately accepted to become a nurse-educator in 2 teaching institutions. I liked that work, and most of my experience in the Philippines is related to teaching. I also worked as a clinical instructor in the hospital with major task of honing skills of aspiring students. I technically worked like a staff nurse with added responsibility for students. There I tested my leadership and decision-making skills. I was young, but I think I did a good job there. I was practically reading a lot in my free time to prepare for lectures for different subjects. At my peak, I was no longer using Powerpoint slides to facilitate my discussions. I somehow managed to "memorize" most of my content and deliver it spontaneously. I really had so much self-confidence as a teacher then.

Crucial leadership nursing position.

I was just gaining confidence, but also influence in the academe. At the pinnacle, I was chosen as assistant to the Dean of Nursing, and had a lot of responsibility in terms of the quality of instruction in the college. I introduced vital changes, which stirred criticisms especially from those who doesn't want necessary change. I met a lot of dilemma and conflict of interests. That was quite challenging and mentally exhausting. I was experiencing burn-out as a leader, but not as an educator. Just before I left the Philippines, I had the privilege to decide when to work, and where. My whole year was already planned out to manage three different positions. I travelled as well, just to teach. That was an experience.

Novice in Norway.

However, I can not deny the fact that in terms of my clinical experience, I utilized less time in honing my "practical-technical nursing skills." I can explain things immediately, but not necessarily seen it in reality. Here is the influence of Norway played an important role. Everything is new, and I was considered a neophyte in all aspects. I learned to assess and improve my skills. The good thing is that I was given the opportunity to do so without getting too much attention from "observers," like I had in the Philippines. I gained confidence in what I do, and I think I am getting better day-by-day. This is very promising.

The Corona Virus Pandemic

I must say that the pandemic has affected me as a nurse. I was able to distinguish my limit, and attempted to push myself beyond that limit. Long hours, double shifts, multiple tasks with varying degree of importance - those confronted me at work. The situation proved to be challenging as tasks become more complicated and crucial. I was working with the most vulnerable. I never expected some situations were too demanding and perplexing. However, the pandemic gave me the needed boost in knowledge and skills. I became more independent, and more curious to learn more. I think the pandemic helped me reflect my role in the society, as well.

Thirteen years have passed, but I am still learning more and more. To be honest, there were several reasons why I took up nursing, and the profession's noble cause is not really the major reason. However, through this profession, I became the person I am today and provided me with the opportunities I will always be thankful of.

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