It’s been a very long time since I published a post on this blog.
So long, that I’ve begun to wonder if not posting is ghosting those of you who have regularly read my blog.
Here’s the story:
As you know, for over 20 years, I juggled a nursing, career, a studio art practice, and am a published writer. I had a routine down, and it served me well. I enjoyed all of it.
In 2019, everything changed. The job description for my role as an Oncology Nurse Navigator was re-written to better serve the needs of the organization. The most significant change required I begin commuting to another hospital, a 45-60 minute drive one-way, if the weather and traffic conditions were good. My frequent readers know that for 20 years years I’ve walked to work. I won’t go into the details, but the long and short of it was that my off-duty time would be significantly decreased. After 20 years I finally had to choose between nursing and my art.
The decision was difficult. Working as an Oncology Nurse Navigator was my favorite job as a nurse. I loved my patients, and believed I served them well. But I was born an artist. After 20 years, and a lot of tears, I quit my job.
That was in September of 2019. Three months later the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States in a major way.
I don’t know if everything happens for a reason, or if it’s simply that good things can come from bad. Looking back, I highly suspect that quitting my nursing job at that time saved my life.
That feeling of safety didn’t come without discouragement, however. My husband worked in a hospital through the pandemic, and I witnessed the toll suffered by front line workers during the pandemic.
Instead of taking care of patients, I manned the fort at home. I answered basic infection control questions for friends and family. I read all the available information I could about COVID-19 and stepped up infection control protocols in our home accordingly. If I couldn’t take care of patients, well, at least I could help the cause by avoiding, and teaching others how to avoid becoming patients.
Could I have chosen to go back to work during the pandemic? No. Although I’ve been a licensed registered nurse for 33 years, with pediatric critical care and adult oncology experience, I don’t have a BSN. I have an Associate Degree in Nursing. The hospitals where I live only hire BSN degree nurses. Instead of earning a BSN, I chose to go to art school. I don’t regret it.
So, I’ve renamed my blog JParadisi, retired RN. The tag line has been adjusted to Full Time Artist and Writer: Where Science, Art and Humanity Converge.
Retiring from nursing while developing a full time art and writing practice has been an interesting process. I plan to share some of its more interesting aspects with you, as this blog adapts to my evolving, new lifestyle.
Congratulations on your decision! You’ve been fortunate enough to have had two wonderful careers, now to focus on one. January will be the first time I don’t have work experience to renew my license. Bittersweet but my career served me well!
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Thank you! As you say, it’s been bittersweet, but I’m happy with the decision.
I had to transfer my OCN certification to Emeritus when I renewed it, also for lack of work hours. I’ll be writing about the transition in future posts.
Congratulations Julianna! As a former patient of yours AND an artist, you have inspired and helped me with both. Look forward to seeing more art of yours!
Thank you Char!
Proud of you for chasing after what’s most important to you. I, too, believe everything happens for a reason. Enjoy this season! May it be fulfilling and profitable in every way!
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Thank you Joni!
Dear Julianna, I was always able to see a deeper side of you through your writings here. I am happy to see you are only transitioning along with life. I will continue to follow you here. I have always admired the way you trust your gut. It has not let you down. You have been fortunate to have had two satisfying careers simultaneously. Your nursing career will never be completely gone. I think it becomes part f who we are and how we view our world.
Thanks for the years of dedication to thought provoking work her. Tonya
Tonya, thank you for your friendship and support all these years. I agree, our nursing careers are never completely gone-we simply care for others in more creative ways. Hugs, J