Career counselors warn clients against making extreme career changes but, contrary to their advice, I have no regrets for making a bold transition. I believe blending extremes provides an opportunity for immense personal growth and the creation of unique professional niches.
Of all the second career nurses I know, my career change was the most dramatic. So dramatic, in fact, that my co-workers at the hospital find it difficult to believe that I would give up such a fun and glamorous lifestyle. Some bedside nurses I work with feel “stuck” in their jobs and when I reveal that I was an international model, I get a lot of, “What? You went from jet-setting to wiping poop? What is wrong with you?”
I asked myself that question many times in the first years of my nursing career. I wasn’t the center of attention at work and time management didn’t revolve around my mood. It was the biggest ass-kicking of my life and I look back with pride. I worked harder to become a good nurse than I had ever worked for anything else.
Nursing gives me a profound sense of satisfaction in knowing I’ve helped countless people during years of hands-on work. I sleep better at night than ever before and I’m one of a few women I know who isn’t taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. The holistic benefits of nursing far outweigh the superficial perks of other professions.
As a VIP private duty nurse and concierge care manager in NYC, I draw upon my experience in fashion to compliment my nursing care. Who better understands the VIP population than someone who, at one point in time, was a VIP? I have an immense amount of patience for divas and can empathize with clients who need a little (or lot of) extra TLC. By blending both careers I have carved a special niche for myself in a very rewarding field.
I’m looking forward to my next bold move which will bring me continued personal growth and the opportunity for professional creativity. I’m in the NP program at NYU and always looking for the best way to utilize my unique skill set. Who knows? Maybe politics are in my future. New York could use an infusion of ethics and honesty right about now.
Track my career moves on NurseGail.com.