Today, life is demanding answers from me. One, really, in many different areas: do I stay or go? Today, it was in reference to my job.
I just returned home after a meeting with the Shared Governance Research Council, a nursing organization within the Nursing Department of most hospitals, of which I'm a member. Today, instead of just listening to the drivel of information, I presented a proposal for a research study I'd like to and have been working to carry out with two Bioethicists whom I work with.
The meeting went well, and we received approval to move to the next step, but the thing I carried with me was just how much time I'd have to commit. This study would be merely the beginning of an entire research path, a laundry list of studies that would, undoubtedly enhance my resume and experience far beyond my years or education, but will also take...a lot of time.
With tentative goals to move on to another place and type of nursing around this time next year, the meeting, which should have come as good news, turned out a bit unnerving.
I feel like a major review of my priorities is in order. What is most important to me, what will make me stay, what do I really hope to get from this job and place and experience?
But while thinking on it, I started to wonder what makes nurses, in general, stay in one place. Nursing retention rates are extremely low, and although improving in some areas, continue to persistently disappoint. A recent study (perhaps I'll site later, but a tad spent to find it just now) found that nurses who are involved in extracurricular hospital-wide activities, given autonomy and leadership in projects are more apt to stay longer than those who aren't.
While this is true for me -- as far as the unit goes, I've essentially capped my learning there, what's holding me is financial and project-commitments -- it's still difficult for me to pin myself down for sure. Starting a Master's is even a daunting task, simply because it'd tie my here for three years at minimum -- a period of time away from family, which I'm not too thrilled about.
Job, relationships, life in general, it just seems like I have to start figuring out where I want to settle, to stay...to invest. Part of me thinks I'm too young, but with a birthday around the corner, and a two-year-anniversary of nursing a few weeks after that, I'm starting to think I'm getting close to the place where I need to decide.