It’s funny how things happen all at once. For the first time in my life, I find myself alone…in many aspects. I am now living alone, something I couldn’t have foreseen happening. Additionally, I am now alone on the floor as a nurse, without a preceptor holding my hand. I have longed for this moment of solitude in the nursing world…but not so much in my own personal world.
However, I find there is much to be gained from periods of solitude with nursing and with my personal life. Some things can’t be changed, and because of this I plan on making the most out of my circumstances.
So much can be gained from working through a shift solo. Nursing is critical thinking. Instead of bouncing ideas off of my preceptor, I am now creating my own plan of attack. Instead of being pushed in the right direction, I am finding it myself…sometimes through trial and error. To some, this may sound terrifying. But I have never felt safer as a nurse (or nursing student) than I do now. Everyone on my unit is willing to help if needed. Although I am seemingly alone, I am never actually alone. Teamwork and encouragement flood the unit. My shifts may not be a perfectly paved road, but I always make it to my destination. And I know my shifts will get smoother with time and practice.
Luckily, I had a piece of my grandfather with me for my first solo shift. He saved his Pediatrics rotation scrub top for me. After a few alterations, it helped me through my first shift as an independent RN!
This is the first time in my adult life that I have not been a student. Literally for the first time, all I am doing is working as a nurse! Because of this, I can really focus on myself. What makes me happy? How do I want to spend my days off? Who am I when I am not a nurse or a student?
With this time of solitude, I want to better myself. I strive to be more motivated, positive, and active. I want to learn how to play tennis, hike, go to church again, and read non-nursing books. I want to be my best self so I can be my best for the loved ones around me.
And although I may feel alone, I am never alone. I am surrounded by so much love and support from my family, friends, and colleagues.