This week I completed my last final exam and submitted my last paper.  I have completed all requirements for both degrees and within a few days will be officially graduated.

What a strange feeling – to be done with school but not yet completed.  Before I can work, I need to pass the certifying examinations. At least to work clinically I need to pass the certifying examinations and then wait for the state to license me. I finished my last nursing class and took my final exam in May.  I’m not saying all the information is out of my head, but I am saying a review before the exam would do me well.  If I had only done one program, I would be ready to take boards tomorrow, or at least that is the theory.

So now starts a time of limbo – without a job and without the opportunity to apply until I get a license. It didn’t have to be this way.  Several of my classmates were offered positions at the practice that precept ed them. But I wanted different – I wanted to have as many different experiences as possible.  I think it was a good move – I am incredibly flexible in my skills.  I can work with very few resources and can adjust to different working styles and environments.  I’ve trained in a birth center, public hospital, a private hospital and in two public hospitals in low resource countries. I’m ready and capable.  It just means this first few months will have a shadow of uncertainty about my future.



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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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