It’s been two years or so that I’ve started working as a nurse. My dream was to work at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Yes, in Los Angeles, California. I have resided in New York since I was 8 years old. I immigrated here with my family from Bangladesh in the year 2000. Before then, I lived in the Philippines where I was born.
So, why LA? Well, why not? Warm weather, beaches, an amazing teaching facility that is evidence-based driven and a strict control on nurse to patient ratios. It almost sounds like an undeniable life.
I met the recruiter of UCLA at an NSNA conventional in North Carolina the last semester of nursing school. I was starstruck, and my best friend from nursing school Anne Ju pushed me towards their table like a mother pushing her child to the first day of school. I became really close to the recruiting manager who proceeded to give me their newly published book “Prescription for Excellence.” Subsequently, a few days after my NCLEX UCLA called me and asked if I could fly out there for an interview. Ofcourse! A few days later they offered me a position into their new graduate residency in their Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit.
I turned them down. I cried hysterically when I got the acceptance phone call. I remember waiting in front of the computer at my uncle’s house in Hawthorne. I called my mother back in NY in tears and told her I got the job. She was ecstatic and offered to help ship all my stuff over. I cried at the thought that I would be 5 hours from home. Homeless, carless, driver license -less, and alone. How would I ever survive LA??? I decided I would spend a few years in New York first.. grow a tougher skin, get my drivers license, drive through NYC traffic, and spend time with my parents who were getting older and all of my best friends.
The importance of networking while you’re in nursing school cannot be emphasized enough. After I got landed back home in New York I called one of the old unit I did my medical surgical rotations on at Mount Sinai Hospital. I loved working on that unit because everyone just seemed to love their jobs. I called Nicole, one of the nurses I shadowed at clinicals. She just so happened to be the current interim manager. She offered me an interview and a job on her unit that week.