February 29, 2008, 11:10 pm

I Want It All, And I Want It NOW!


Thought you all would like to see a photo of our waiting room!

Half of them have vomiting and diarrhea; the other half have bronchitis.

That is what is “going around” these parts.

I’d room most of them, but our beds are all full of old folks, who all seem to go septic at 2300 each night, right about the time the night shift does their first set of rounds at the nursing homes. At 2230, they are totally normal, but by 2300 they have developed a fever and have urine so purulent you can stand a fork in it.

I love my job.


Attention, attention: Change of Shift is here next week, get those submission in to moi! Use the contact button above or use Blog Carnival. That is all!


When I started back for my BSN, my goal was to take my time and enjoy the process.


Like that is even remotely my personality. I want to take as many classes as I can so I can, well, get an MSN or a PhD. I love school. But at this slooooow, rate of five classes a year it is going to take me four more semesters to finish the damn thing.

I want my degree now! So I’m working my butt off to earn the tuition to go full time next semester (four classes – twelve units), and saving up all my vacation and education leave to take (almost) the entire semester off of work.

I am enjoying the process, but sometimes I have to remind myself to keep my eye on the prize. Spending a week immersed in Margaret Newman’s Health as Expanding Consciousness theory has made me glassy eyed and wondering if I should just spend the rest of my days crocheting doilies and baby blankets for the grandkids I don’t have yet.

I have however, figured out the difference between medicine and nursing and one day, when my brain is clear, I will post on the topic.

In the meantime, I thought I would tell the story of what working as an emergency department nurse and trying to go to school at the age of 50 is really like, in pictorial form.



This is me.

Yes, for the purpose of this illustration I am an egg.

If you are having trouble with the analogy, just imagine it in a Brady Quinn Cleveland Brown’s jersey and a really cool nurse’s cap. I’m already egg-shaped so that should help.


But I have over extended myself and there is a disturbance in the Force. I am losing my mind, and my equilibrium.


My co-workers were the first to notice.

One is crying for me.

One is ticked off that they are now short an egg.

The doctor on the left is using the opportunity to teach the PA about “Humpty Dumpty” syndrome.

The other egg can’t stand the sight of trauma and the one in the back is thinking, “I always knew she would crack, eventually.”

Please notice that no one is doing CPR.



So…I pull myself together, keep working and studying, shoving my face full of comfort food until this is how I end up.

The fire of ambition has put me straight into the frying pan and this is the result.

I’m flat, fried, and covered in cookie crumbs. Yes, cookie crumbs. Remember the rock-and-roll cookie bouquet I wanted for Valentine’s day but said my husband was too cheap to buy? Well, he bought it for me. It was gone before the cookies had a chance to cool.



Now, I don’t want to end up a fried old hag in a Brady Quinn jersey, getting yolk all over my cap! Something had to give.

So…I took a breath, set a more realistic time-table for completing my bachelor’s degree, stopped picking up insane hours at work and hopefully, I will soon feel like this egg, beautiful, restful and glamourous.

Unfortunately, I am still the shape of an egg.

But…I’m still going to school full time in the fall and taking most of the semester off. I mean, I’ve already done all the work to earn the money, so it shouldn’t be that hard if I’m not working.



  • […] Emergiblog // The Life & Times of an ER Nurse wrote an interesting post today on I Want It All, And I Want It NOW!Here’s a quick excerpt Thought you all would like to see a photo of our waiting room! Half of them have vomiting and diarrhea; the other half have bronchitis. That is what is “going around” these parts. I’d room most of them, but our beds are all full of old folks, who all seem to go septic at 2300 each night, right about the time the night shift does their first set of rounds at the nursing homes. At 2230, they are totally normal, but by 2300 they have developed a fever and have urine so purulent you can stand […]

  • Nurse K

    March 1, 2008 at 1:02 am

    When you’re done with your BSN, just think! You’ll get a 25 cent-per-hour raise!!! Yeah!!!!

    Then you’ll sigh happily and say “it was allllll worth it for that quarter-an-hour.”

    Nursing “theories” are hilarious, btw. Totally irrelevant to the real world.

  • Adrienne Zurub

    March 1, 2008 at 3:52 am

    LOL! LOL! LOL!

    Hey Baby Grrl, OMG! I understand the Type-A personality (yes, you…and me!)

    You are effin fantastic, so creative, and funny. You will make it. Try this, think of where you will be say one year from now, 6 months from now or even next week.
    Have you considered moving your creative talent into the arts?

    Trust me, you are doing fine!
    I too wanted to get a Ph.D after obtaining 3 degrees, applying to Law school, getting accepted, then deciding not to go to do Stand Up which was more fun. I LOVE LEARNING!

    Keep your eyes on the prize Baby Grrl!
    LOL! We beautiful egg shaped types must stick together!

    (cardiacbitch…so what!)


    March 1, 2008 at 5:44 am

    I’ve always felt that if you want a degree, just go do it full time, Give it your best and get it over with and move on. Life is just too damned short, expecially at 50, to waste time.

    I’ll bet it’s a great semester.

  • Vanda

    March 1, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Thanks a whole lot, the eggs made me choke cake over my laptop. Good luck and remember to take a deep breath once and a while.

    I do enjoy reading your blog.

  • Maddy

    March 1, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Gosh I just came over to tell you about your award for one of your earlier posts, but this is great too. Maybe it’s because I’m a visual learner but the egg illustration hits the spot too.

  • Onehealthpro

    March 1, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    It will still be hard! Sorry, but you’re a good egg and I think you deserve the truth.

  • NPs Save Lives

    March 1, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Oh my God that’s too funny! I can’t believe that it was me cracking up not too long ago. You have to remember to keep your eye on the prize and make sure that you take breaks for yourself and your family every now and then to recharge. My friend Mary from the BSN and the MSN program just called me and is hinting about our doing the DNP together. I just can’t wrap my brain around any more school just yet. I have to get some of the student loans paid off first.

  • Nurse Keebs

    March 2, 2008 at 4:25 am

    You have the will and determination to do this. What will save you is your remarkable sense of humor! You go, girl! It’s not about the money- it’s that you did it!

  • NurseMomNJ

    March 2, 2008 at 6:18 am

    You are so fabulously creative that you are doing the whole world of nursing a favor by getting your BSN. As you eventually move (or get pushed) into administration we will all cheer to be led by you!

  • AzRN

    March 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    i finally went back after 10 years and got my bsn. i’m now working toward my msn. time will pass by regardless of what you do, but taking your courses will make this time count toward something :D. good luck, you can do it!

  • Doctor David

    March 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    What an awesome post! Kinda like the old, “This is your brain…” anti-drug ads. This is your brain on a full time job as an ER nurse and taking 12 credit hours…

  • Margaret

    March 3, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Beautiful post, Kim!!

  • Dr. Wes

    March 3, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Kim –
    You’re brilliant. You must have had a blast with those eggs…

  • Pk

    March 3, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I found you!!!

    ok, I feel utterly stupid … when my computer died, I lost your blog … but as I found you (through Artemis’ blog) It dawned on me … I had you on my facebook page …duh.

    I never lost you …

    sigh …

    anyway … I found you …

    it’ll take me a few days to catch up again.

    feeling idiotic,

  • Quick Medical

    March 3, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you very much for some afternoon humor. “I always knew she would crack.” What great stuff! If only we could make selling medical supplies so much fun. Hmmm…

  • Autumn

    March 4, 2008 at 6:43 am

    Your pictorial had me laughing so loudly the kids thought I’d cracked.

    Nursing school is tough. Particularly when you’re already working and already run down. Re-evaluating what you can and can’t do and setting realistic goals will certainly help you feel better. And I hope you do feel better soon!

    Just remember it will all be worth it!! 😀

  • Rollernurse

    March 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I almost shot coffee out of my nose when I saw you,the cracked egg, in front of your co-workers.

    Keep it up. Think about when you are done and you can look back on all of this hard work and feel so proud. You will get through it.
    You are a creative and funny individual and I love your blog.

  • Disappearingjohn

    March 5, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I actually have my very last class for my BSN next week. It has been a long 20 months, so of course, I am looking forward to some well-earned time off…

    As you would say, Yeah, right. My application was just accepted for my MSNeD. I start May 1st. Well, at least I get one month without classes…

  • Max

    March 6, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Lovely Kim, beautiful post. especially the bit about urine you could stand a fork up in!

  • Mary J.

    March 27, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Cute eggs. I wish I were so creative. Alas I am a drudge, a gardener where others are flowers. Good luck in your school endeavors. If that is what you want, go for it. Although I graduated from a college degree nursing program, I never really wanted to be anything but a hospital nurse, ER precisely. And having reached that plateau,I
    have had an interesting, engaging 32 year career in ER nursing that has taken me to Alaska and back, from a small Bush hospital to a Level One trauma center.
    I am now back in a smaller hospital in a small town, the challenge is just as great, the volume of patients is less, the wear and tear on my nearly 60 year old self is less, the patients usually employed and do not live on the streets.
    So party on girl, get that degree, do what you want. And good luck.

  • Mary J.

    March 27, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Oops, I made a politically incorrect comment about “street people”. Did not mean to make it sound like I am unsympathetic to the plight of the truly homeless. Anyone who has worked in an inner city hospital can tell you that some of the so called “street people” are there by choice. Another whole large topic indeed. Must go to work, ta,ta.

  • Ostomy

    November 21, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Training in ER with ostomy care will be the better choice forme.

  • Gauze

    October 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Great post. I love your pictures! They crack me up…get it…I’m just yoking. 🙂

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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