Thursday, January 1, 2009

What A Journey... What An Awesome God!

I had planned to tell about how God led me to travel nursing sooner, but decided to wait to the end of the year because this journey really started in the beginning of 2008 and this is a fitting way to end 2008. Praising God for what He has done for me this year and how I have grown in Him.

In the beginning of 2008, I started feeling a need to move on in my nursing career. The job I was doing was not fulfilling me anymore. At first I couldn't put my finger on it then it came to me, the job I was doing was not the job I had started the year before. the President of the company I was working for seemed more interested in the money than the care of the patients. In hospice compassionate caring is a must. The nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, and chaplains I worked with were and still are doing a great job in providing end of life care for these patients. Unfortunately, management started having patients that were either not appropriate or ready for hospice admitted to hospice services. I was the admission nurse. My name goes on the certification paper stating that the patient qualifies, so if I found a patient that didn't qualify and after talking to the doctor still didn't find a reason for hospice services at that time, I didn't admit the patient to hospice. this upset the President of the company. There were some patients who after they had signed the legal paperwork with the marketer and then I went to do the assessment and started the education of what to expect from the staff and the disease process decided that they weren't ready for hospice services, so again I didn't admit and president of company got mad. My boss, who had worked with me and was the one who trained me in hospice, knew that I would try to find a way to qualify or if patient wasn't ready a way to show them how our service would be beneficial and that it didn't mean that they would be dead tomorrow and if the admission didn't happen I had done all I could.

So in April I started to lose heart in my job. I started looking at other options and felt God leading me to travel nursing. I inquired with a company and was able to start by the end of the month and they had hospice assignments. I put the idea to my husband and he shot it down. I couldn't get him to see that travel nursing made enough money so he could retire completely and travel with me. But because he is the man I love with all my heart and married, I vowed to honor and obey so I put travel nursing behind me. My husband told me that when we get the bills paid off in 5 years (which was our goal and we're on track to meet it) then we would look at travel nursing then. I agreed knowing that I can do anything as long as I remember who gave me the job and the passion to help people... God, the Great Physician.

Admissions went smoother from that point until October when it all started again. in one week I didn't admit three people, two not appropriate and one not ready mentally but needed hospice desperately. One Friday I was called into my boss's office and informed that I was being let go " because I know hospice too well". He told me that they were eliminating my position, giving me a month's severance pay and wouldn't fight unemployment if I had to apply. He told me that if they added the admission nurse position back they would hire someone who didn't know hospice that well. Being a nurse I shouldn't have needed to go to unemployment. I took a week off to absorb what had just happened to me. Then I started job hunting. The papers had no listings for RN's for 3 weeks, not even the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. I then looked back into travel nursing. I felt God strongly pulling me that way. Hubby still wasn't convinced. At the end of my severance time, I still didn't have a job and had to go on unemployment. I even went to a nursing job fair in Atlanta, handed out 20 resumes and never received a call.

I finally got a call from my recruiter at the travel agency with possibilities in Mississippi, Connecticut, or California. So the  wait began to see which place would call & interview me. Connecticut and California did. Connecticut I was their second choice, California chose me. While waiting for those calls I met a nurse recruiter at the Mall of Georgia. All seemed promising, but when I called that Monday she didn't have anything available before I was to leave for California. 

I felt through it all that God was telling me to go travel nursing and all the other positive opportunities was His way of reminding me that He was in control and working for what was best for me. 

David and I decided I would do the first assignment alone to see if it was as good money-wise as everyone was telling us. On the trip to California, God revealed to me that the pay I was getting was weekly not biweekly, that meant every other week I was making more than my husband made very 2 weeks. So it looks like the next assignment, he and our puppy will be joining me and we will combine my two loves nursing and traveling. Also combining my husband's love, being wherever I am. 

These 3 months are going to be hard, but it is something we are used to. He spent 20 years in the Navy and was gone 6-9 months each year for 3 years at a time and then 2-3 months out of the year for the next 3 years. 

Once in California, God again showed me His provision. After getting here, I had to go to Sacramento to get my nursing license for CA. I get there and find out I don't have what I need to get my license in 1 day and GA wasn't being helpful. This was all on a Wednesday. The best I was looking at was 10 days. So here I am in California with no job and no money. I do all I can to expedite my license and hope that by Monday they would have my GA verification. It took me all day to get fingerprinted, picture taken, and FedEx paperwork to GA. I turn everything in to the CA office and was ready to leave when the reviewer talked to me and 10 minutes later handed me my temporary CA license. WHAT A MIRACLE! I was constantly being told that without GA verification I wouldn't get my CA license. But God provided and I started my new job on time.

This whole year has taught me to rely on God, trust in Him for everything. 3 weeks on unemployment really stunk. Thank God we had started following a spending plan that Crown Financial Ministries developed and had money in savings to cover us through that time. I can't wait to see what He has in store for me in 2009. Whatever it is, it will be for my own good, to grow me and to make me more like Him. Looking forward to the next leg of my journey with God. 


Jim Walton said...

Excellent post, Teri! I knew part of the ending of your story but did not know the beginning at all and how God led you to where you are today.

As I am in a mode to start writing more, I hope you do the same. You have a lot to say that will bring value to many people.

WayneJames said...

You and your husband have been such an encouragement to me. I am so grateful for allowing us to be so close and see the truth of God working in your lives.

What I can't figure out is how you are going to "travel nurse" and stay in Gainesville!

Thanks again for sharing!

Anonymous said...

As I was with you from February regarding your trip through this year, I do understand what you mean. I know that as you tell me that everything happens for a reason, that God must have placed me in your path because he knew that I neede a great friend. That you have always been. It always amazes me that you so easily see the good in all of the bad. Remember the sky is the limit, and you are heading there by leaps and bounds.