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.