I have never been a person who sought out being a member of a peer group. I identify as an extrovert loner (shut up, that’s a thing). Every aspect of the nursing profession has challenged my typical social position.
Once I entered nursing school I was forced into becoming a member of a very elite group of incredibly stressed out people. Through pure luck I was adopted by a group of women who shared my drive to succeed and my desire to not socialize with assholes.
My crew and I studied hard, supported each other, and made it through some seemingly insurmountable challenges. We did not only survive nursing school but we excelled.
We have all gone our separate ways on our career paths. However I know that this group of people will be a life-long support and cheering section.
Then came the RN initiation. The phrase “eating their young” is often thrown around as a joke in the nursing field. It is far from funny. I was not expecting to have smoke blown up my ass but I was unprepared for full-blown flames.
I will be the first to admit that a fresh nurse being thrown into an inpatient unit isn’t to be taken lightly. I had a lot to learn and 6-weeks to do it. Trial by fire makes it sound too tame. I was grilled hard by my preceptors/future coworkers. When all was said and well-done (again puns are my thing) I was ready to be served up.
Now that I was on my own I was quickly learning how to navigate each shift and patient assignment with my team. This is when the transition happened. I was no longer this newby outsider, I was a full-blown member of the club. Those RNs that had scared the crap out of me during my orientation were now my coworkers, confidants, teachers, and friends. I always had back up.
In nursing you never really know what could happen next. It feels great to know that I would not be going into any situation alone. Now that I’ve made it in, this club is for life.