So I finished my old job, and it was surprisingly sad. Perhaps there is always something special about your first nursing job. I was. So. Excited. About this job. I remember the thrill of donning my scrubs and clipping my RN, BSN badge to them for the first time and the even bigger thrill of being able to say, "I'll be your nurse today" instead of "I'll be your student nurse today." Having the Pyxis scan my fingerprint was a huge thrill here. This was the place where I looked up at the "Authorized personnel only" sign and was nearly foiled by it and then remembered that was me! Here I have passed under this sign giddy with the satisfaction of a job well done, and here I have passed quickly, holding back tears for the parking lot. Under this sign I have dragged myself out to the car nearly too exhausted to move, and under it I have floated with the strange happiness/despair one-two punch that nursing so often provides when a job well done simply means being present with a dying patient at the right time.
Today I handed in my various accoutrements to HR and staffing and security and felt empty for a while---those things were so hard-won. I am moving right along to my new job Monday, and I'm very excited about it. I (usually) believe that everything happens for a reason, and many seemingly fortuitous events had to transpire for me to get this job. I probably would not have gotten it without the specific experience I got at my first job, and I certainly would not have gotten it if management hadn't implemented changes that caused me to look around for another job at exactly the right time this rare opportunity opened. It was not even posted. It is where I really, really, REALLY wanted to work right after graduation.
I suppose I should be used to nursing being mired in paradox. I often love and hate the same things about it, so why should I feel surprised to be excited and sad at the same time? Paradox is the stuff this profession is made of. (That, and flexibility, of course.)