Just when you think that all of your plans are in line, something happens to change things around.
I told you all that we had our housing lined up – a townhouse only about a 5 minute drive away from Chris’ new university. We still have that housing arrangement, but we may need to find something else after all, and I’ll tell you why.
I was at work on Friday when the VP of Nursing walked onto the unit. I’ve met this woman a few times before, so I said “good morning” and stopped to hear how she was doing. She said that she’d heard that I was moving, first to Indiana and then to New Zealand, and went on to say that she had been told several really great things about me from a lot of different sources, how I had even won an award for improvements to patient safety, yada yada, and how I would be missed. I thanked her, and then she said that she hoped that I was staying within my current hospital system (the hospital I work for has a campus in Indiana). I told her that I had filled out a transfer request after contacting the nurse recruiter in Indiana, but that I had never heard anything more, despite leaving several voicemails.
She asked me, “Who was it you spoke with?”. I told her, and she said, “Email me the name and number, and I’ll make a call, because I really think that it would be a loss if you weren’t able to stay within the system.” I thanked her and she left, and I turned to all of the other RNs who were standing around. They were all like, “Wow, Jenny. You need to email her right now. That’s a big compliment to you and says that she must have a lot of confidence in your abilities.” I think she was just being nice, but I still emailed her right then with the name and number of the person I had contacted. Twenty minutes later she emailed me back, stating that she’d called this woman and had left a voicemail, but that she planned to follow-up on Monday. That was quick!
I went home that evening and worked out, then went to check my email. What should be in my inbox but an email from one of the Indiana hospital’s employees, stating that she’d heard that I was interested in a transfer. She asked me to update some of my personal and work information online in the event that a transfer did actually go through. Yay! I went ahead and completed it, then thought for a minute… You see, the closest campus of this hospital is 2 hours away from Chris’ university. There are a few outpatient clinics that are closer, but they usually don’t have openings. Meaning that living in the current place we have lined up won’t work if I were to be offered a job there. Hmmm.
I went downstairs and talked with Chris about this. He was really excited to hear that the VP of Nursing had been so complimentary and that she had been willing to make those calls, but I knew that he wasn’t really happy at the thought of not being so close to his school. I told him that if they were to offer me a full-time or even part-time job, I would really, really want to take it and to find housing closer to my hospital. You see, Chris doesn’t have to be on campus every day. At most, he would need to be there 2-3 days per week. We talked about it, and he said that if I’m willing to follow him across the country and around the globe, then he thinks it’s more than fair for me to ask him to make an hour or hour and a half commute 3 days a week for a 10 month period. What a guy!
Why is it so important that I stay within my current hospital system? I’ll tell you. If I stay within the system, I don’t lose any of my seniority or benefits – in other words, I’m not starting at the bottom all over again. Another thing is that within this system, you keep your time earned even if you leave. We’ll be leaving for New Zealand about 10 months after we move to Indiana, and I think we’ll probably be there from 3-5 years, maybe longer, but not permanently. If by the time we return to the US I’m still working as a nurse and I want to go back to my current hospital system, those 2 years of time would automatically be factored in, and I wouldn’t be considered a brand-new employee – I’d have 2 years of seniority.
For the record, I don’t foresee any reason why I wouldn’t still be working as a nurse in the next 7 years. The only thing is that I do hope to get my master’s degree while in New Zealand (there’s a program at Chris’ university over there), and so I might not be working as a staff nurse and might instead be a clinical nurse specialist, an NP, or perhaps a nurse manager. Who knows, but the fact is that if I can stay within my current system, it’s to my benefit. Oh, and the pay is pretty good 🙂
I’m not going to go counting my chickens before they’re hatched. There’s a very good chance that nothing will come of this and I’ll simply be told that they don’t have anything available. If that happens, that’s OK – I’ll just go forward with our current plan. I do think that it’s kind of crazy that I submitted my transfer request paperwork over 3 months ago, and here it is 2 weeks before we’re moving and I’m finally getting some type of response. Yikes! If I am offered something, things will definitely be crazy(er) before we move, but I think that we can get through it. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!