Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Career Moves?

When I calculate it out, I have spent eight years full-time and one year part-time as an undergrad to get where I am.  First degree?  BA Political Science.  Second degree?  BS Nursing.  I have actually completed enough time in school to have finished my undergrad AND medical school AND have started a residency.  Financially, I often regret not having just taken the medical school leap.  Emotionally I am so glad I didn't.  Not to mention, life would have likely taken us in a different direction, and I am so excited by the path we are currently traveling.

Anyway, six years ago, I was pregnant with Abby when I started the part-time coursework at Kent State to get into the accelerated nursing program.  When she was 1 week old, I returned to class; when she was 6 weeks, I started the accelerated nursing coursework.  The equivalent of an entire first year of nursing classes was completed in the summer session.  Jason was working at a different job at the time and had to deal with the kids on his days off while I was in biweekly 12-hour nursing clinicals in Cleveland.  It was a wretched summer, although I made some lifelong friends, kindred spirits!, that year.  On the positive side for me, Owen was a terrible toddler (poop finger painting!) and Jason got to deal with THAT most of the summer.  Ah, memories.

It was quite a jump, politics to nursing, but I love it.  And as crazy as those days were getting through nursing school, it would have been far more emotionally draining trying to get through residency (90-hour weeks!) post-medical school; I sometimes regret how much of Abby's infancy and Owen's toddlerhood I missed out on because I chose that junction in life to change careers.  Medical school would have taken all of those years away.  Actually, I would just now be completing my residency.

Which brings me to my next thought: what am I going to do next?  I have been an ER RN for 4 years.  What is my next move?  I always envisioned myself as a Nurse Practitioner.  Oh, but the schooling involved!  More courses!  More clinicals!  Another board exam!!!!  And how would (will?) it fit into our Foreign Service plans?  I am already lucky enough to have an incredibly flexible career.  In the States, I have never had difficulty finding a nursing job.  I wonder if I will be so lucky overseas?  And going a step further, if I were a Nurse Practitioner, would I be able market those skills overseas?  What happens when we move every few years?  How hard will it be to find a new position?  Questions, questions, questions.  I suppose like all things involved with this lifestyle the answer is:  It depends.

And of course, there is the difficult task of not only trying to fit my career into this lifestyle with my husband, but also trying to make sure I fit the kids into my career plan (or vice versa?).  I missed out on a lot with the kiddos (Owen and Abby) when I made the career change.  Going back to school would eat up time with them again, and with little Kellen!  I don't know if I am willing to make that sacrifice again, at least not yet.  The great thing is, though, that I don't have to choose right at this moment.  What I have learned as an adult (and I can no longer claim to NOT be an adult...) is that you can actually go back to school at any time.  You don't have to know what you want to do or be right now.  I went back to school when I was 27 --- pregnant, with a crazy toddler in tow, and a full-time job (and thankfully, a very supportive husband).  How was that the right time to do that?  It just was.  And when I find the right time again, I'll know.

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